CPSIA – Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements is Only Partial

by Tim Anderson

Compliance with the stay of the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act has been only partially delayed. Be aware of what is hot and what is not at this point!

Status of the key parts of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

  • A lead content limit for children’s products which will likely apply retroactively beginning on February 10, 2009, with lower lead content limits coming on line over the next few years – delayed one year due to the stay
  • A Certificate of Conformity requirement for all consumer products that are regulated in any manner under U.S. consumer product safety laws – delayed one year due to the stay
  • Mandatory third party testing and certification for all children’s products – delayed one year due to the stay
  • A ban on certain phthalates in children’s toys and child care articles beginning on February 10, 2009 – not stayed, enforcement will begin
  • Permanent tracking label requirements for all children’s products – not enforced until August 14, 2009
  • Hazard warning requirements for advertisements of certain toys and children’s products.  For advertising on the internet, enforcment is now in effect. For catalogs and other printed materials, enforcement will go into effect on February 15, 2009.

Quotes from the stay:

Manufacturers and importers — large and small — of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Cautions:

  1. The foregoing does not exempt compliance with state laws that can be more stringent than the federal standard.
  2. The stay does not relieve testing and certification with ASTM standards or any other preexisting testing and certification requirements.
  3. There are many other parts of the Act that apply to vehicles, recreational equiptment and other items that are now in effect.

You should consult your legal counsel to determine whether you import or manufacture porducts that are regulated by the Act. The fact that you may be a small business or home-based business does not exempt you from compliance.

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