The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to approve (3-2) new independent third party product testing rules for domestic manufacturers, importers and private labelers. These firms will be required to test and certify that their children's products comply with U.S. product safety standards as required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. In order to meet this requirement for children's products, the Commission adopted a framework regarding third party periodic testing to ensure continued compliance.
If there is a material change to the product, such as changes in the product design, manufacturing process, or the source of component parts, firms must re-test and and re-certify that the product complies with federal safety standards.
In addition, firms must keep records on the testing and certification for their children's products. The testing and certification rule will go into effect 15 months after it is published in the Federal Register.
Children's products that comply with the law may bear the label, “Meets CPSC Safety Requirements.” Labeling is voluntary.
In an effort to reduce the burden on all affected firms, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission also voted to approve (3-2) a rule allowing firms to use component part and finished product testing conducted by their suppliers, in order to meet the testing and certification requirements, effective 30 days after the rule is published.
Firms are already required to do intial testing on some products, including among others, those with lead in the paint, those with small parts, full size and non-full size cribs, pacifiers and children's metal jewelry. The new rules will require firms to go beyond initial testing to ensure that their products continue to meet safety standards. All domestic manufactures, importers and private labelers of children's products will be required to test the products periodically to ensure continued compliance with federal safety standards.
The Commission also voted (5-0) to move forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking on representative samples. Under this proposal, firms could use product samples for periodic testing that are known to be representative of all the product manufactured or imported since their last periodic or certification test. Manufacturers would be required to document their testing and keep those records.
The new rules are intended to help clarify the options for testing upon which firms can base their certifications.
CPSC also voted to (5-0) publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing requirements, as required by Congress.
Commissioner Statements on this vote:
- Joint statement of Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, Commissioner Thomas Moore, and Commissioner Robert Adler (pdf)
- Commissioner Nancy Nord (pdf)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of
thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the
nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or
mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household
chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
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