In a context of globalized and dynamic markets, asymmetries of information and market power between consumers and suppliers, people are exposed to unsafe products that can cause serious health conditions and risks to their life and property. Furthermore, to the extent that more developed jurisdictions strengthen their surveillance capacity and cooperation between them to prevent the entry of unsafe products into their territories, the probability increases that unsafe products will be diverted to countries with lower levels of protection.

In this context, the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), based on the OAS Charter, in Declarations of Heads of State and Government of the region and in successive resolutions of the General Assembly since 2009, supported the creation of the Consumer Safety and Health Network (CSHN) , with the objective of strengthening national and regional cooperation capacities in order to allow the early detection of consumer products dangerous substances and the adoption of coordinated actions among the competent organizations, and thus prevent the risks from materializing in harm to consumers in the Americas.

Product safety is, on the one hand, an international challenge, which countries cannot face in isolation, but rather seek cooperation at the subregional, hemispheric and global levels. Furthermore, it is an inter-institutional challenge, since it exceeds the scope of the powers of consumer protection agencies and must necessarily be approached from a systemic and interdisciplinary perspective that involves all national institutions with tasks related to product safety. , including health surveillance authorities, ministries of health, metrology, standardization and quality institutes, customs administrations, among others.

The CSHN offers countries a scope for cooperation at a technical level to combat, as a region, the circulation of unsafe products in their markets. Among other aspects, the CSHN has promoted and supported the creation or strengthening of national product safety market surveillance systems, trained hundreds of specialists and authorities, and administered the only regional portal on safety alerts in the Americas.

A central element of the CSHN that supports and strengthens cooperation between Member States and national capacities in the matter is the Inter-American Rapid Alert System (SIAR) that allows national agencies to generate and quickly exchange information on consumer product safety alerts in a secure and collaborative environment. 

Objectives
  • Strengthen national and regional cooperation capacities in order to enable early detection of dangerous consumer products
  • Adopt coordinated actions between the competent organizations to confront the entry of dangerous consumer products into the Member States of the Network 

Activities
  • Update and maintenance of the Inter-American Rapid Alert System
  • Production of awareness campaigns to warn consumers about dangerous and defective products placed on the market in Member States, the measures they must take to return these products and how to protect themselves as consumers
  • Holding monthly meetings of the Management Committee to ensure that the Network complies with its work plan
  • Establishment of Working Groups on important topics of mutual interest
  • Organization of information sessions, workshops and webinars to strengthen the capacities of consumer protection agencies
  • Facilitate opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Member States 

More Results
Results
Increase in the number of CSHN Member States from 17 in 2014 to 21 in 2023
Creation of the first regional rapid alert system for the Americas, the Inter-American Rapid Alert System (SIAR)
Beneficiary Countries
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Argentina
Bolivia
Bolivia
Brazil
Brazil
Canada
Canada
Chile
Chile
Colombia
Colombia
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Ecuador
El Salvador
El Salvador
Guatemala
Guatemala
Jamaica
Jamaica
Mexico
Mexico
Panama
Panama
Paraguay
Paraguay
Peru
Peru
Suriname
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
United States of America
Uruguay
Uruguay
Team
Roberto Rojas
Mariette Vidal
Strategic Partners