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President Bush Signs into Law the "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008"


After much anticipation, the President signed the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008” into law today. The conference report passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 424 – 1 on July 30, 2008; and passed in the Senate by a vote of 89 – 3 on July 31, 2008. The Act calls for broad reform in the regulation of consumer product safety and the operations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), including the following notable provisions:

  • Requiring tracking labels for children’s products, effective 1 year after enactment;
  • Imposing a progressive ban on children’s products containing trace amounts of lead, effective 180 days after enactment;
  • Requiring third party testing and certification of certain children’s products;
  • Requiring manufacturers of durable infant and toddler products to provide consumers with a postage-paid consumer registration form with each such product, effective through CPSC regulations to be promulgated within 1 year of enactment;
  • Permanently banning three types of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP) in concentrations above 0.1 percent while temporarily banning three others (DINP, DIDP, DnOP) in children's products, effective 180 days after enactment;
  • Establishing a publicly available, searchable, accessible database of consumer reports of harm within 1 year of enactment;
  • Expanding CPSC personnel and funding, and broadening CPSC authority to recall products and modify corrective action plans;
  • Granting CPSC expedited rulemaking power and charging CPSC with promulgating implementing regulations;
  • Enacting whistleblower protection for employees of manufacturers, private labelers, distributors, and retailers;
  • Imposing tighter control on imported and exported consumer products; and
  • Significantly increasing civil penalties to $100,000 per violation or up to $15 million for a related series of violations as well as increasing criminal penalties from a maximum of one year to a maximum of five years.

The Act became effective upon enactment today, however certain provisions are not effective immediately, as specified by the Act.

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