CPSIA Compliance Issues for Manufacturers and Retailers of Children’s Products

CPSIA Compliance Issues for Manufacturers and Retailers of Children’s Products


Numerous provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) went into effect on August 14, 2009, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to issue new regulations. In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Sheila Millar discusses the compliance issues for manufacturers and retailers of children’s products in this ever changing regulatory environment. She writes:
 
CPSIA Recent Developments:
 
     Numerous provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 went into effect on August 14, 2009, the one year anniversary of its passage. Lead paint and substrate limits are lowered, tracking labels are now required and infant and toddler products have to be accompanied with registration forms. While the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been issuing guidance at a furious pace, anxiety and uncertainty continue within the business community, and many small businesses are suffering losses in business and jobs. The following is a list of provisions that came into play on August 14, and a brief description of their implications, as well as highlights of some additional upcoming rules and guidelines likely to be of interest.
 
     New Civil Penalties in Effect: New and significantly higher civil penalties are in effect as of August 14. Penalties for violations increased from a maximum of $8,000 per violation to $100,000, and the cap on penalties increased from $1.825 million to $15 million. The CPSC is finalizing an interim final rule on civil penalty factors.
 
     Ban on Products Containing Lead in Substrate in Excess of 300 ppm: CPSIA established the first-ever lead substrate limit on all components of children's products at a 600 parts per million (ppm) effective February 10, 2009. By operation of law, this level went down to 300 ppm effective August 14. Numerous industries have voiced concern over the new limit. The technology does not exist to produce many products without using lead in excess of 300 ppm, as evidenced by the requests for exemption filed by several industry groups.
 
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CPSC Issues Draft Guidance
 
     On November 4, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) released a draft guidance document regarding compliance with the testing and certification requirements of Section 102 of the CPSIA, and the Commission staff briefed the Commissioners on the draft guidance at a public meeting on November 6. . . .
 
     Section 102 of CPSIA amended the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) to require that domestic manufacturers or importers provide general conformity certifications for all consumer products subject to a standard, ban, rule, or regulation administered by the CPSC. Section 102 also sets forth a phased-in scheme of accredited third-party testing for children's products. On January 30, 2009, except for standards CPSC had already issued for testing by accredited third-parties, the Commission stayed the requirements of Section 102 until February 10, 2010. Unless the Commission votes to extend the stay, the stay of enforcement will expire in less than three months, a worrisome possibility given supply chain realities for design approvals and testing and the evolving nature of guidance.
 
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