First Global Footwear Product Safety Guide Released

First Global Footwear Product Safety Guide Released

Only Document Of Its Kind for the Footwear Industry Covers Both Chemical and Physical Footwear Testing  

Today, The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), America’s largest and most respected footwear trade association, and TÜV SÜD released the first ever Global Footwear Product Safety Guide.  The guide covers both chemical and physical testing requirements and suggested protocols for footwear.  Previous FDRA guidebooks only covered chemical testing.

“As the COO of the largest children’s footwear importer in the U.S., I have had the unique opportunity to see multiple approaches companies take to address product safety within their supply chains.   The problem our industry faces is that multiple companies are interpreting regulations and what is relevant to product safety for the footwear category differently.  This imbalance is causing confusion at the factory level and hurting our ability to more effectively make products safer for our consumers.  The FDRA has embarked on an important initiative to deliver the industry a footwear specific guide on how to address chemical and physical testing globally. With this guide, the FDRA is now providing the industry with a template that is understandable and can be executed across all companies which will bring consistency to our industry and clarity to a confusing topic with many moving parts,” said Josue Solano, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at BBC International and Chairman of FDRA’s Product Safety Enhancement Committee.

Solano continued: “Through the committee, we have collaborated with a number of company executives and managers to collect input and insight on their points of view on managing product safety. This collaborative effort along with the technical expertise of TÜV SÜD  have positioned the FDRA to publish this important piece of work.”

“Over the past year there has been a real buzz among compliance and product safety managers and executives over FDRA’s new comprehensive product safety program,” said Greg Tunney, CEO and President of RG Barry Brands and FDRA Chairman.  “FDRA has established a more robust structure through its Product Safety Enhancement Committee chaired by BBC’s Josue Solano and through its working group.  This has allowed product safety professionals the ability to direct FDRA to get exactly what they need, which is why this new guide is so important because it was created by the industry itself.”

The guide provides a concise and tiered approach to understanding exactly what chemicals are used in the production of footwear and where those chemicals are regulated worldwide.  Also included in the guide are robust and tiered physical testing guidelines ensuring that companies understand all the various physical testing requirements either required by law or needed to ensure the continued production of high quality footwear for consumers. The guide can be downloaded here:

“Thanks to TÜV SÜD and our product safety industry experts like Josue, this will now be the go-to guide for the footwear industry” said FDRA President Matt Priest.  “Our strategic partnership with TÜV SÜD continues to deliver strong value to all FDRA members.  This includes an ever-growing comprehensive product safety program, which incorporates workshops around the globe and new in-depth products and services to help the industry better understand shifting regulations related to product safety.”

“I would like to congratulate FDRA for this great and unique initiative to support the footwear industry. TÜV SÜD is honored to be part of the Global Footwear Product Safety Guide project and we believe that this guide will be a useful and essential tool for companies that are navigating international regulations related to product safety and seeking to meet safety standards for their footwear products. We look forward to continuing to serve the footwear industry,” said Kapil Bansal, Global Head of Consumer Products & Retail of TÜV SÜD’ who is also a member of FDRA’s Board of Directors.

Founded in 1944, FDRA is the largest and most respected footwear trade association in the U.S.  It represents the full breadth of the footwear industry, supporting more than 130 companies and over 200 brands, from research, design and development, to manufacturing and distribution, to retailers selling to consumers all over the globe.  FDRA is the footwear industry’s voice in Washington, as well as its business intelligence hub for issues such as footwear product safety, factory social compliance, sales data, and sourcing.

TÜV SÜD is an international leading technical service organization catering to the INDUSTRY, MOBILITY and CERTIFICATION Segment. The experts and technology consultants are dedicated partners in their clients’ processes, offering comprehensive industry expertise throughout the entire value chain. They focus their services on their core competencies of consulting, testing, certification and training. Almost 20,000 employees are committed to optimizing technology, systems and know-how at over 800 locations in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Africa. Further information is available at