Where can I find the upholstered furniture requirements?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) issued a direct final rule to codify in the Code of Federal Regulations the statutory requirements for the flammability of upholstered furniture under the COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act (“the Act”). The Commission codified the Standard for the Flammability of Upholstered Furniture under 16 CFR part 1640.
 

What is the effective date? How does this affect existing inventory?

The upholstered furniture flammability standard (16 CFR part 1640) is effective as of June 25, 2021. These requirements do not apply to items manufactured, imported, or reupholstered before June 25, 2021. Items manufactured, imported, or reupholstered on or after June 25, 2021, must comply with California TB 117-2013. Enforcement of the labeling requirement in § 1640.4 will begin on June 25, 2022 and applies to upholstered furniture manufactured, imported, or reupholstered on or after that date.
 

What are the labeling requirements?

Under 16 CFR part 1640, upholstered furniture subject to the standard must have a permanent label with the language: “Complies with U.S. CPSC requirements for upholstered furniture flammability." CPSC staff recommends that the certification statement be conspicuous and legible. The statement should be at least 1/8-inch high and not smaller than other text on the label; it should be in black text on a white background and surrounded with black border. The label may be a separate label, or it can be added to the bottom of an existing California TB 117-2013 label required by SB-1019. The required statement must appear on the front of the label in English and cannot be on the back side. However, additional languages may be on the back side of the label.

See label examples below:

Example of Separate Label:

 

Example of Combined Label:

 

What qualifies as a permanent label? Does a label on a hangtag or zip tie count as permanent?

The label must be affixed securely to the article of upholstered furniture so that the label will remain attached throughout conditions of merchandizing and distribution to the ultimate consumer.  The label should be located prominently on the product and be conspicuous to the consumer. Hangtags and zip ties are not considered permanently affixed. 

 

Will the mandatory CPSC labeling replace the California labeling? California requires disclosure of any flame retardant under SB 1019 for upholstered furniture. Will this label be impacted by the Act or not?

The CPSC labeling requirement is in addition to any other labeling requirements imposed by law, including the state of California’s labeling requirements.

 

Which version of TB 117-2013 is required? If California changes TB 117-2013, does the federal standard also change?

16 CFR part 1640 incorporates by reference TB 117-2013, as originally published in June 2013. A later version of TB 117-2013, dated January 2019, reflects the name change of BEARHFTI to Bureau Household Goods and Services (BHGS) on the cover page, but it is otherwise identical to the June 2013 version. As such, either the June 2013 or January 2019 version may be used.  However, future revisions of TB 117-2013 will not change 16 CFR part 1640.

 

Are states prevented from creating new upholstered furniture flammability regulations? Are existing state and local flammability laws preempted?

16 CFR part 1640 codifies the preemption provisions in the Act, which preempts states and other jurisdictions from establishing or continuing in effect their own flammability regulations designed to protect against the risk of fire from upholstered furniture. As stated in the Act: "no State or any political subdivision of a State may establish or continue in effect any provision of a flammability law, regulation, code, standard, or requirement that is designed to protect against the risk of occurrence of fire, or to slow or prevent the spread of fire, with respect to upholstered furniture." The Act does not preempt any state or local law, regulation, code, standard, or requirement that concerns health risks apart from flammability associated with upholstered furniture.  

 

How is upholstered furniture defined?

“Upholstered furniture” is defined in the COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act in Section 2101 (b)(4). This definition can also be found in 16 CFR part 1640.3(e). In-scope “upholstered furniture,” excluding specific exemptions in the Act, includes general-use and children’s seating furniture that meets the specifications below:

 (i) is intended for indoor use;
(ii) is movable or stationary;
(iii) is constructed with an upholstered seat, back, or arm;
(iv) is—(I) made or sold with a cushion or pillow, without regard to whether that cushion or pillow, as applicable, is attached or detached with respect to the article of furniture; or (II) stuffed or filled, or able to be stuffed or filled, in whole or in part, with any material, including a substance or material that is hidden or concealed by fabric or another covering, including a cushion or pillow belonging to, or forming a part of, the article of furniture; and
(v) together with the structural units of the article of furniture, any filling material, and the container and covering with respect to those structural units and that filling material, can be used as a support for the body of an individual, or the limbs and feet of an individual, when the individual sits in an upright or reclining position.

What furniture does the Act cover?

The Act covers upholstered furniture made in whole or in part of fabric or related material intended for use or that may reasonably be expected to be used in homes or other places of assembly or public accommodation where consumers will customarily use the upholstered furniture. California Code of Regulations 1374.2, the terms of which are codified in 16 CFR part 1640, provides limited exemptions, including cushions and pads used exclusively for outdoor use, certain durable infant and toddler products, and products obtained by a written prescription from a healthcare professional. 

 

Is a futon mattress, which already must comply with 16 CFR parts 1632 and 1633, considered upholstered furniture?

The COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act states: “mattresses,” as defined in 16 CFR section 1633.2, are not considered upholstered furniture. A futon mattress and any other product considered a mattress under section 1633.2, would not be considered upholstered furniture subject to testing under the Act.


What testing and certification requirements apply to upholstered furniture?

The requirements of TB 117-2013 are not subject to the testing and certification requirements of Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).  Thus, a certificate that is based on a test of each product, or upon a reasonable testing program, or CPSC-accepted third-party testing laboratory, is not required to demonstrate compliance with TB 117-2013.  Manufacturers are required only to have a certification label with the statement: “Complies with U.S. CPSC requirements for upholstered furniture flammability.” For upholstered furniture that must comply with additional CPSC requirements other than TB 117-2013, such as children’s product testing for lead or phthalates, those requirements for testing and product certification remain unchanged. 

Who is the responsible party for compliance with TB 117-2013?

Manufacturers, importers, and reupholsterers are responsible for ensuring that products comply with the requirements for upholstered furniture. 
 

What ignition sources can be used for testing to meet the Standard?

TB 117-2013 specifies the ignition source as SRM 1196 or a cigarette which meets the specifications listed in Table 1 of Annex B.  SRM 1196a has been shown to be equivalent to 1196 and meets the specifications listed in Table 1 of Annex B of TB 117-2013.

 

What records are required for proof of compliance and how long must these records be kept?

The label with the certification statement: “Complies with U.S. CPSC requirements for upholstered furniture flammability" is proof of compliance. A best practice is to maintain records for at least as long as the product remains in production.  

 

Are there any lists to sign up for, to stay abreast of new updates on compliance with this law?

Interested parties can sign up for the “Small Business Ombudsman updates on CPSC activities affecting small businesses” and/or “Business Updates alerting business stakeholders of upcoming trainings and education events” general mailing lists at: https://cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Subscribe.

For compliance inquiries contact:

Maureen Danskin MDanskin@cpsc.gov

Justin Jirgl JJirgl@cpsc.gov

 

For technical inquiries contact:

Andrew Lock ALock@cpsc.gov

Emily Maling EMaling@cpsc.gov

Contact the Small Business Ombudsman (for general assistance understanding and complying with CPSC regulations): e-mail: Please use our Contact Form, which is the best way to get a fast response; telephone: (888) 531-9070.