The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires manufacturers to add tracking labels on all children’s products (products designed or intended primarily for children 12 and under). Section 103 of the law provides for permanent, distinguishing marks on the product and its packaging, to the extent practicable that will enable the ultimate purchaser to ascertain the manufacturer or private labeler, location and date of production and tracking information such as batch, run number or other identifying characteristics. This tracking information is broader than uniform product coding (UPC) numbers, although UPC codes may include cohort information that allows manufacturers to track a product.

PRACTICE POINTER: According to the CPSC, a label stating only the date of distribution, production date and trademark information would not satisfy the tracking label requirements. Such a label would lack information identifying the manufacturer or private labeler, the place of production and cohort information.Also note, the agency believes that hang tags and adhesive labels are not permanent and thus do not comply with the law.

The agency has not yet adopted any rules on the tracking label requirement, but there has been talk that the agency may prescribe label print size or other requirements. The agency issued a request for comments on the tracking label provisions of the CPSIA in a Federal Register announcement dated February 26, 2009. Comments are due by April 27, 2009. See, Tracking Labels

More to follow once the agency responds to comments or adopts regulations. However, the law makes clear that even if the agency does not establish tracking label rules, the tracking label requirements of the CPSIA still go into effect for all children’s products effective August 14, 2009.

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