CPSC Issues Proposed Rule for Testing Component Parts of Consumer Products

On April 1, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a draft notice of proposed rulemaking for a rule that would impose requirements for testing component parts of consumer products. Specifically, the proposed rule would establish requirements for how persons issuing certificates under section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), as amended by section 102(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), that their products comply with applicable CPSC requirements may rely on tests obtained by suppliers of component parts, or others, as the basis for their certificates.

dollsUnder section 14(a) of CPSA, manufacturers and private labelers of products are required to issue a certificate: (1) certifying, based on a test of each product or upon a reasonable testing program, that the product complies with all CPSC requirements and (2) specifying each rule, ban, standard, or regulation applicable to the product. Additionally, manufacturers and labelers of children’s products subject to children’s product safety rules must submit a sample of the product to a third party conformity assessment body accredited by CPSC to be tested for compliance.

The proposed rule, if adopted, will establish a new 16 C.F.R. Part 1109, setting forth conditions and requirements for testing of component parts of consumer products, including children’s products, where such testing is intended to demonstrate compliance with applicable CPSC rules. The proposed rule would also set out the conditions under which tests of component parts can be conducted by persons other than the manufacturer, such as the manufacturer or supplier of the component parts. The proposed rule is divided into two subparts: Subpart A sets forth generally applicable conditions and requirements while Subpart B sets forth conditions and requirements for specific consumer products, component parts, and chemicals. The Subpart B regulations are mostly concerned with lead testing and phthalate testing, particularly in children’s toys.

The proposed rule is consistent with various guidance documents issued by the Commission in the past, including the following:

1. Statement of Policy: Testing of Component Parts with Respect to Section 108 of the CPSIA;

2. Statement of Policy: Testing and Certification of Lead Content in Children’s Products;

3. Guidance Document: Testing and Certification Requirements Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008;

4. A notice regarding a Commission workshop on testing and certification published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2009; and

5. Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certification of Children’s Products and Other Consumer Products to the August 14, 2000 Lead Limits.

Parties may submit written comments on the draft rule within 75 days of publication in the Federal Register.

Kristin Stastny is an Associate in the Regulatory Affairs Department at Dorsey & Whitney, LLP. Please see our web site at www.dorsey.com.

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