▷ The Ministry of Environment signed a business agreement with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, and Korea Consumer Agency for a real-time consumer injury information sharing.
▷ The cases of consumer injury and inconvenience will be frequently reviewed to expand the list of Consumer Chemical Products subject to Safety Check and improve safety standards.
The Ministry of Environment (Minister Cho Myung-rae) signed a business agreement on the sharing and use of consumer injury information with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, and Korea Consumer Agency, at the headquarters of Korea Consumer Agency in Eumseong, Chungcheongbuk-do, at 4 pm on June 27th.
The business agreement has been made to swiftly respond to and stop the spreading of injuries caused by products. It is an exemplary case of an active inter-governmental cooperation for government innovation.
Under the business agreement, Korea Consumer Agency will share injury information** collected via Consumer Injury Surveillance System (CISS, www.ciss.go.kr,
collecting 70,000 cases per annum) with other signatory agencies, including the Ministry of Environment, in real-time from July of this year.
* A system that collects, analyzes and evaluates injury information, under the Framework Act on Consumers, from 80 organizations nationwide (62 hospitals, 18 fire stations) and the consumer counseling center (contact number 1372).
** The information on the cases of the real or potential injuries to consumers' lives, bodies or properties in the process of using products or services
To ensure safety management of the products under their jurisdiction, the three other agencies, including the Ministry of Environment, will use the 'Injury Information Sharing System*' to frequently check the injury information uploaded in real-time on the system.
* A system to share the injury information (excluded personal information), collected by Korea Consumer Agency, in real-time with other signatory agencies
The access to 'Injury Information Sharing System' will be granted only to the people in charge in other signatory agencies, including the Ministry of Environment, who received prior approvals.
Currently, under article 52 of the 'Framework Act on Consumers', Korea Consumer Agency quarterly reports injury information to 10 government agencies.*
* The 10 agencies: Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (Korean Agency for Technology and Standards), Ministry for Health and Welfare, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and Korea Fair Trade Commission
However, the information in the reports is limited to the accident information submitted by emergency rooms and fire stations, and there are months of time gaps between the accidents and reports. Therefore, the reporting system has been a subject for revision to prevent the occurrence and spread of injuries caused by products.
The Ministry of Environment will carry out periodic surveillances on the consumer injury information caused by consumer chemical products, and use the collected information to expand the list of Consumer Chemical Products subject to Safety Check* or to improve the existing safety and labelling standards.
* Consumer Chemical Products subject to Safety Check: the categories of consumer chemical products chosen and announced by the Minister of Environment of their potential of injuries under the 'Chemical Products Safety Act' (currently 35 types of products, including detergents and air fresheners)
"We will take this agreement as an opportunity to keep discovering and launching other cooperation projects, such as product information sharing with each agency or prevention and response to accidents caused by products. Through the project, we will realize an advanced consumer chemical product safety control, which will make visible differences for the people," stated Director Han Jun-uook, Chemical Products and Biocides Division of the Ministry of Environment.