CPSIA Resource Center
CPSC Safety Rules & January 1, 2012 - What You Need to Know
On January 1, 2012, manufacturers and importers of children's products will be required—for the first time under federal law—to third party test and certify their children's products for compliance with the limit on total lead content in children's products. Manufacturers and importers will also be required to third party test and certify that toys and certain child care articles are compliant with the federal toy safety standard and the ban on certain phthalates. The CPSC has provided new and updated education and guidance materials ease the transition for affected businesses as the stays of enforcement expire for these regulations.
Toy Safety Standard & the Ban on Phthalates
Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (the "Commission") announced the development of a strategic outreach and education plan to help the business community and other stakeholders learn about the third party testing and certification requirements that will go into effect on January 1, 2012, for children's toys and toy chests manufactured after December 31, 2011. For more information on the toy safety standard, please see our website at: www.cpsc.gov/toysafety. Also, while you are visiting our website, please review our strategic outreach and education plan in the upper right hand corner of the page, and provide us with additional ideas and feedback about our plan.
Third party testing and certification requirements will also go into effect for the ban on certain phthalates for children's toys and certain child care articles manufactured after December 31, 2011. For more information about the ban on phthalates in toys and certain child care articles, please see our website at: www.cpsc.gov/phthalates.
Total Lead Limits in Children's Products
January 1, 2012 also represents the date on which the Commission will begin to enforce the third party testing and certification requirements for the total lead limit of 100 parts per million in accessible parts of children's products. Unlike the toy and phthalate requirements, this requirement is for children's products manufactured after August 14, 2011. For more information about the total lead limits in children's products, please see our website at: www.cpsc.gov/lead.
Certification and Third Party Testing
For all children's products safety rules, certification and third party testing are generally required. Certification means that manufacturers and importers of children's products must issue a written Children's Product Certificate (CPC) for each product, which identifies the product, the rule or standard with which it must comply, the third party laboratory where it was tested, and other requirements. Certification must be based upon the results of third party testing, which means testing performed by a third party, accredited laboratory that the Commission has accepted to perform the specific tests associated with each children's product safety rule. For more details about what third party testing and certification means for your business, and for links to our list of accepted laboratories and sample certificates, please see our website at: www.cpsc.gov/3PT and www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.
Small Batch Manufacturers (updated 1/10/12)
Small batch manufacturers, defined as those who earned $1 million or less in total gross revenues from sales of consumer products in 2011, and who produced in total no more than 7,500 units of at least one consumer product in 2011 can register for calendar year 2012 at www.SaferProducts.gov. Qualifying small batch manufacturers are not required to third party test for compliance with certain children's product safety rules during 2012 for products which they produced no more than 7,500 units of in the previous calendar year. This new registry does not exempt small batch manufacturers from ensuring that their products comply with these mandatory standards. Small batch manufacturers must still provide a certificate of conformity, in which the manufacturers certify in writing that their products comply with the applicable regulations. However, except where required by law, the certificate does not have to be based on third party testing. For additional information on the Small Batch Manufacturers Registry and small batch guidance materials, please see www.cpsc.gov/smallbatch.
Sign-Up for Updates
For future updates on this and other regulatory issues that may affect you, consider signing up for one of CPSC e-mail services. They have just created an account on Twitter (@CPSCSmallBiz) and you can choose to follow them on Twitter for regular updates. The Small Business Ombudsman's e-mail service sign-up form is at www.cpsc.gov/sbo on the upper right hand side of that Web page. And, at www.cpsc.gov/lists.html, you will also find a sign-up form for other useful Commission e-mail services of interest or you can contact the Small Business Ombudsman at www.cpsc.gov/sbo by clicking on the "Contact Form" on the upper right hand side of that Web page for the fastest response.
Please do not wait to take the necessary actions to ensure that your products comply and are properly third party tested and certified on January 1, 2012.
Modified ECADA Passes House and Senate
A modified version of the NSSEA-supported bill named the "Enhancing CPSC Authority and Discretion Act of 2011" or ECADA passed both Houses of Congress on August 1. The legislation amends the CPSIA to instructs CPSC to find ways to reduce the costs and burdens of third party testing, provides testing relief for books and paper-based printed materials, some changes to the tracking label and data base sections of the law, changes to the lead standard for bicycles and a categorical exclusion for ATVs. It now awaits President Obama's signature.
The bill passed before August 14, 2011, the date of the CPSIA lead limit reduction to 100ppm for all children's products. The first item on the bill is a CPSIA revision that makes the reduction to 100ppm prospective rather than retroactive, allowing sell-through of existing inventory. There is a provision for a "functional" exemption from the lead limit where manufacturers have made a successful case that it is not feasible to produce certain products without lead. This primarily applies to bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs where lead in metal parts serves a functional purpose. Used children's products are granted an exemption, except for jewelry.
HR 2715 addresses concerns about third party testing by including a requirement that the CPSC hold hearings to determine where there may be redundancy in existing testing regulations in cases where:
- Another agency requires third party testing that equals or exceeds CPSIA
- There are similar products that are imported by two or more companies
- Products have many similar component parts
- Manufacturers that have similar products could use sampling procedures
- Meeting other national/international standards involves meeting CPSIA
- Alternative technology can comply with CPSIA guidelines.
Books and printed materials will be exempted from the third party testing requirements. The bill provides "small batch manufacturers" some relief from the third party testing requirements. Small batch manufacturers are limited to less than 7,500 units and under $1 million annual gross revenue. HR 2715 gives the CPSC authority to exclude specific products or classes of products from CPSIA tracking label requirements if staff determines that the products do not readily lend themselves to such marking. Alternative requirements may then be established by the Commission.
The 1000ppm limit on phthalates will be amended to exclude inaccessible parts. CPSC will issue guidance on what constitutes an inaccessible part; however, for now, a component part "is not accessible…if such component part is not physically exposed by reason of a sealed covering or casing and does not become physically exposed through reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of the product."
HR 2715 will enhance merchant rights regarding the public database, saferproducts.gov. The CPSC will stay publication of notice on the database for 5 additional days if there is a claim that the information contained therein is inaccurate. Also, CPSC will attempt to acquire the model number, serial number, and picture of the items submitted for inclusion in the database.
NSSEA initiated a letter-writing campaign encouraging the passage of ECADA to ease the burdens of the CPSIA and participated in a national advertising campaign in partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers to illustrate the financial impact of CPSIA on small businesses. While there is more to be done to help ease the regulatory burdens, we would like to thank NSSEA member Rick Woldenberg from Learning Resources for his tireless work on this issue and all members who helped with this effort! Read the bill.
Consumer Product Safety Information Database
On March 11, 2011 the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) went live with the SaferProducts.gov database mandated by Congress, as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Consumers are encouraged to visit www.SaferProducts.gov to submit Reports of harm or risks of harm, and to search for safety information on products they own or may be considering buying.
Following procedures set up by the law, CPSC will review all online Reports and have five business days to transmit qualifying Reports to the manufacturer, where practicable. Manufacturers then have 10 business days during which they may respond and provide comments and/or claims. At the end of the 10 day period, if all requirements are met, the Report and the manufacturer's comments will be posted on SaferProducts.gov
It is important that consumers provide CPSC with information that is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. Reports lacking required information will not be published. Similarly, information in a report of harm determined to be materially inaccurate within the 10 days provided to manufacturers to respond will not be published. Reports that potentially contain confidential information will have such information taken out before the report is posted.
On January 24, CPSC began registering businesses online, and accepting Reports though SaferProducts.gov to test the system. Manufacturers are encouraged to sign up on the Business Portal, so they can receive a copy of a Report about their product in a timely manner via e-mail. For more information, go to SaferProducts.gov.