Consumer participation in standards making – COPOLCO

The COPOLCO Mirror Committee develops Australia’s policy positions to address matters raised by the International Standards Organisation –  Committee on Consumer Policy (known as  ISO COPOLCO) and endorses delegates to represent Australia at ISO COPOLCO Plenary meetings. The committee also considers invitations to appoint Australians as key persons to the ISO COPOLCO priority program including experts to and conveners of working groups. It meets several times per year.

CFA representative John Furbank is a member of the committee and also its Chair.  CFA representative Robyn Easton is co-coordinator of the Product Safety Working Group, one of five working groups at ISO COPOLCO. The COPOLCO Mirror Committee (CMC) met on Tuesday 1 May 2012 and was attended by representatives from Choice, CFA, ACCCSOCAPNRA and QLD Fair Trading.

The CMC established and agreed on Australian positions to take to COPOCLO Plenary meeting Fiji 2012 in May and recognised the need to be seen by stakeholders as being “open for business” to new ideas. The CMC agreed to form a working group to look at how the role of the Committee in relation to ISO COPOLCO can be communicated to a wider audience to encourage the flow of ideas around consumer needs.

The CMC also heard reports on the OECD in relation to Consumer Policy Committee and its Product Safety Working Group. The development of a global recall portal is progressing well and will be launched in October 2012. The CMC noted that the portal engine is available at low cost to countries that do not have their own recall databases. An inventory of product safety initiatives portals is now in place and is also available at low cost to countries and organisations with an interest. Work on the feasibility of a global injuries database has commenced.

For further information contact John Furbank:  johnfurbank [at]