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CPSC Votes To Extend Stay Of Certification and Third Party Testing Requirements For Certain Children's Products

Dec.18.2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted this week to extend the stay of enforcement of certification and third party testing requirements for certain children's products. Despite the stay of the certification and testing requirements, the products must still comply with all applicable standards, regulations, and bans.

Section 102(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 ("CPSIA") requires that children's products be certified compliant with applicable safety rules based on qualified third party testing. In January 2009, the Commission voted to stay the certification and third party testing requirements for certain children's products for one year, until February 10, 2010. The stay applied to lead content limits, phthalates limits, and mandatory toy standards. The stay did not apply to the lead paint ban, standards for cribs and pacifiers, the small parts ban, lead content requirements for children's metal jewelry, all-terrain vehicle standards, pool drain cover requirements, or any pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements.

This week, the Commission voted to:

  • Extend the stay of certification and third party testing requirements for children's products subject to phthalates limits, the ASTM F-963 toy safety standard, caps and toy guns, clacker balls, baby walkers, bath seats, other durable infant products, electrically-operated toys, youth all-terrain vehicles, youth mattresses, children's bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film and children's sleepwear until 90 days after the Commission publishes relevant accreditation requirements in the Federal Register. No general conformity certification is required during the stay.
  • Extend the stay of certification and third party testing requirements for children's products subject to the lead content limits for an additional year, until February 10, 2011. No general conformity certification is required during the stay.
  • Adopt an Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certifications of Children's Products and Other Consumer Products to the August 14, 2009 Lead Limits. This policy permits component part testing for lead paint and lead content in children's products. Specifically, domestic manufacturers and importers may -
    • For lead content, rely on test results for one or more components used on a product or a certificate from another person certifying the component complies with the lead content limit.
    • For lead paint, rely on tests of dried or liquid paint used in a product or a certificate from another person certifying the paint complies with the lead limit.

Notably, the Commission did not extend the stay of certification and third party testing for bicycle helmets, bunk beds, infant rattles, or dive sticks. Any of these products manufactured after the current stay expires, February 10, 2010, must comply with the certification and third party testing requirements.

In its deliberations, the Commission also considered the "15-month rule" contained in the CPSIA. Specifically, Section 102(d)(2) of the CPSIA requires the CPSC to "establish protocols and standards" for periodic testing, random testing, verification of testing, and safeguarding against undue influence in testing of children's products "within 15 months after the date of enactment." Chairman Inez Tenenbaum stated that she would not lift the stay on certification and third party testing for lead content until after the Commission finalizes the 15-month rule. This will enable manufacturers and importers sufficient time to bring their testing procedures into compliance with all of the CPSC's requirements.

In addition, the Commission's vote did not affect the general conformity certification required for some nonchildren's products manufactured after February 10, 2010. These products include: architectural glazing materials, ATVs, adult bunk beds, candles with metal wicks, CB antennas, contact adhesives, cigarette lighters, multi-purpose lighters, matchbooks, garage door openers, portable gas containers, lawn mowers, mattresses, unstable refuse bins, refrigerator door latches, swimming pool slides, products subject to regulations under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), paint and household furniture subject to lead paint regulations.

To read the CPSC's press release about the extended stay, including a chart of affected products, click here. Included in the press release are links to the Commissioner's individual statements. To read the Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certifications, click here. Note that the Commission voted to exclude the discussion of lead content testing and the applicable stay from this draft Interim Enforcement Policy.

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