Overview of the CPSC Proposed Product Testing Rules

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in the process of implementing requirements for the testing of consumer products. The rules would require reasonable testing for non-children’s products, independent laboratory testing for children’s products, and labeling products to indicate compliance. The rules would implement Section 14(a) and (d) of the Consumer Product Safety Act and Section 102(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which require the implementation of testing programs.

For non-children’s products a manufacturer would have to certify that the product has undergone a reasonable testing program which provides a high degree of assurance that the products will comply with all applicable rules, bans, and standards of regulation for that product. The reasonable testing program would be required to have five components, including a product specification that identifies the product, certification testing on samples of the product, a production testing plan to test products manufactured after certification, a remedial action plan for the event a sample fails a test, and a recordkeeping plan for the testing. The rules outline specific requirements for each of these steps.

Third-party testing would be mandated for children’s products. The manufacturer would have to submit samples of the product to a third-party laboratory for certification that the product complies with all requirements for children’s products. The product would have to undergo continued third-party testing during the life of production. The manufacturer would also be responsible for verifying the tests through a second third-party tester. Procedures would be required to assure that undue influence was not exerted on the third party testers by the manufacturer. Finally, there would be mandated record keeping for the testing, and remedial plans would have to be in place in case the products were to fail the tests. The rules give detailed specifications for each of these requirements.

Products certified pursuant to these requirements would be able to bear a label indicating that the product complies with the consumer product safety rules enforced by the CPSC.

These rules, if approved, will be listed at 16 C.F.R part 1107. For more information on the details of these rules or the products regulated, please contact an attorney.

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