Date: Oct 25, 2011
On October 19, 2011, by a 3-2 vote, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adopted two significant final rules on testing requirements. One rule governs testing and labeling for product certification, applicable principally to children's products. The other establishes requirements for relying on component part and finished product testing by third parties. Notably, the CPSC deferred action on the contours of a "reasonable testing program" for non-children's products. While the final rules included changes that reduce some of their burdens, the CPSC acknowledged that compliance will be costly. The CPSC also initiated two rulemaking proceedings that respond to changes required by H.R. 2715, legislation that was passed and signed into law by President Obama this summer.
What Do the Two Final Rules Do?
How Will Current Practices Need to Change?
Compliance with these new requirements could demand a significant effort by manufacturers and importers. Among the requirements, written testing programs will need to be crafted, records will need to be maintained for at least five years, and undue influence policies will have to require retraining employees whenever a substantive change occurs to the CPSC's rules. In the meantime, we expect additional guidance from the CPSC for the representative samples requirements. In the short term, the rule may require additional testing.
What Are the Implications of the Two Proposed Rules?
When Do I Need to Comply?
The testing and certification rule will be effective 15 months after it is published in the Federal Register. The component part testing rule will be effective 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register so that it can be used for compliance with third party testing requirements, including lead substrate testing. Comments on the two proposed rules related to testing will be due 75 days after each proposed rule's publication in the Federal Register, offering stakeholders an important opportunity to weigh in on the impact these rules will have on businesses.
Keller and Heckman's Consumer Product Safety Team advises clients regarding compliance with laws and regulations enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as well as related laws applicable to consumer products, including green chemistry and environmental requirements. For more information contact Sheila Millar, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean-Cyril Walker, email@example.com.