A new system for detecting consumer products which violate safety rules uncovered more than 12.5m defective items shipped into the US in fiscal 2013.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) used a RAM (risk assessment methodology) system to detect 8.2m defective items in the second half of fiscal 2013 alone, it said, including about 2.1m children’s products.

The CPSC is proposing to expand the RAM system, first piloted in 2011, and which involves the analysis of Customs data to make risk-based decisions on which shipments to inspect.

The agency screened more than 14,000 consumer product shipments in the April to September period last year, detecting violative or defective products in more than 600 of them.

The most common issues revolved around lead content or lead in paint in higher than permitted amounts, as well as products containing phthalates and toys and other articles with small parts, constituting a choking hazard for young children.