Question of the Week #2

NEW TO OUR BLOG – A FEATURE WE CALL OUR QUESTION OF THE WEEK

We will be putting up a consumer product safety question each week. The answers will be forthcoming the following week along with a new question. Check back frequently and let us know if you have a question.

Last week we posed Question #1:

Do the CPSIA testing certification requirements apply if a company’s products are under the jurisdiction of the CPSC, but there are currently no mandatory CPSC standards that apply to the products, only voluntary standards?

Response

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act at Section 102(a) requires every manufacturer of a product which is subject to a consumer product safety rule under the Act or similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other Act enforced by the CPSC, to issue a certificate. See, 15 United States Code 2063(a). If a product is not regulated under a rule, ban, standard, or regulation enforced by the CPSC, a certificate is not mandated by the law. The issue is whether a product is regulated in any way — and that is a more detailed inquiry that covers a large range of laws, regulations and even interpretive guidance.

The CPSC enforces not only the Consumer Product Safety Act but also consumer products regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Poison Prevention Act, the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevent Act, the Refrigerator Safety Act and the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

In many cases, the CPSC has not issued a definitive list of rules, standards or regulations, so an importer, manufacturer, distributor, retailer or reselling may not fully comprehend the requirements that may apply to the consumer products they sell. This can lead to uncertainty about the scope of any General Conformity Certification that may be required under the CPSIA.

The lines get further blurred when looking at what constitutes a consumer product — defined to mean a product produced for sale or use by a consumer around the home or school. This would not include commercial or industrial products, but often products may have a dual use or purpose that may trigger a conformity certificate and reasonable program of testing requirement.

The CPSIA rules and regulations will be evolving. We can help you assess the need for a conformity certificate and a “reasonable” program of testing. Check back often on our blog to see what’s new.

One last note: As explained in an earlier blog, the CPSC issued a stay of enforcement for testing and certifications for many products which delays the requirement for certifications and testing until 2/10 or until the agency issues further rules or guidance.

Now for this weeks new Question of the Week #2

Does the CPSIA allow me to export a product if I have not yet instituted a program of testing and I don’t know if my product is compliant with a CPSC rule, ban, standard or regulation?

Check back with us next week for our response. Also, let us know what you think of our blog and questions you may have about consumer product safety. MRK

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