CPSC Extends the Stay of Enforcement on Testing and Certification

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously this month to extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification for many regulated children’s products. However, even though enforcement has been stayed, products must still comply with applicable CPSC standards, rules, bans and regulations.

1. Children’s Products

The categories of children’s products covered by the extended stay of enforcement include: children’s toys and child care articles with banned phthalates, children’s toys subject to ASTM’s F-963 toy safety standard, caps and toy guns, clacker balls, baby walkers, bath seats, other durable infant products, electrically-operated toys, youth all-terrain vehicles, youth mattresses, children’s bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film and children’s sleepwear.

The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for these children’s products while the agency continues to work towards approval of product testing methods and testing laboratories. The requirement for third party testing and certification for most children’s products will only become effective 90 days after CPSC publishes notice of laboratory accreditation and requirements in the Federal Register.

The CPSC also voted to extend the stay on certification and third party testing for children’s products subject to lead content limits until February 10, 2011. Under this decision, products must still meet the 300 ppm lead limit now, but certification and third party testing to show compliance get a one-year reprieve and will be required for children’s products manufactured only after February 10, 2011. A children’s product is one that is primarily intended for children 12 and younger.

Note, the stay will end on February 10, 2010 for four children’s products: bicycle helmets, bunk beds, infant rattles and dive sticks. These children’s products, manufactured after February 10, 2010, will be required to have certification based on independent third party testing. The testing must be conducted by a laboratory recognized by CPSC.

Lastly, independent third party testing and certification will continue to be required for all children’s products subject to the following consumer product safety rules:

• The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings • The standards for cribs and pacifiers • The ban on small parts • The limits on lead content for children’s jewelry

2. Non-Children’s Products

The CPSC applies different rules to nonchildren’s products. Domestic manufacturers and importers are not required to test nonchildren’s products using an independent third party lab. However, manufacturers and importers must certify that nonchildren’s products comply with applicable CPSC regulations by issuing a general certificate of conformity (GCC) based on a reasonable testing program.

The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for certain categories of nonchildren’s products including adult bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film and wearing apparel.

A GCC will be required for some nonchildren’s products manufactured after February 10, 2010. These products include: architectural glazing materials, ATVs, adult bunk beds, candles with metal wicks, CB antennas, contact adhesives, cigarette lighters, multi-purpose lighters, matchbooks, garage door openers, portable gas containers, lawn mowers, mattresses, unstable refuse bins, refrigerator door latches, swimming pool slides, products subject to regulations under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), paint and household furniture subject to lead paint regulations. General certificates of conformity are also required for pool drain covers.

Finally, products that require labeling under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) or labeling rules will not require additional certification to those regulations.

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