Consumer Protection & Privacy

Norton Rose Fulbright: Timeliness of Section 15(b) Reporting Continues Role as CPSC Enforcement Tool

By Will Troutman (US)

As 2014 draws to a close, we see that Section 15(b)’s reporting requirement continues to be a powerful tool for CPSC to punish companies who manufacture, distribute, or sell products that are ultimately recalled. In 2014, CPSC entered into six settlements resolving Section 15(b) allegations that included civil penalties ranging from US$600,000 to US$4.3 million, representing the majority of all concluded CPSC enforcement actions in 2014.

Section 15(b) reporting

Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act requires companies that manufacture, distribute, import, or sell consumer products to immediately report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission products that do not comply with a CPSC-enforced product safety rule or contain a defect that could create a substantial risk of injury or an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. Section 15(b) requires reports from all parties in the supply chain unless the “manufacturer, distributor, or retailer has actual knowledge that the Commission has been adequately informed.”

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