Small Batch Manufacturers – Time to Register for 2016

Small Batch RegistryIf you are a registered small batch manufacturer with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for calendar year 2015 and you wish to continue in this status, you must register again for calendar year 2016Registration must be submitted annually. 

 

If you have not previously registered your small business with CPSC, but now wish to do so, please follow the instructions below but note that you will first have to create a user ID and password before you will be able to follow all of the steps below.

Registration is now open for calendar year 2016. 

If you wish to register as a small batch manufacturer for calendar year 2016, your registration must be based upon the total number of the same product units sold (7,500 units) and the total gross revenues ($1,086,627 or less) from the sales of all consumer products in the previous calendar year – January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  If you meet those two requirements (the total gross revenues figure has been updated for inflation this year), you may now register for calendar year 2016 by logging into your user account in the Business Portal at: www.SaferProducts.gov.

 

Step 1:  Login:  When you log in to your account at: www.SaferProducts.gov and you click the “Small Batch Manufacturer” tab with your cursor, you will be asked to attest that your company satisfies the criteria you first used to register; the criteria are nearly the same as last year and only the gross total revenue figure has been updated to account for inflation.

 

If you do not see the “Small Batch Manufacturer” tab on your screen when you login, you may be using the wrong email login.  Remember that you may have used multiple emails when you created your account.  You should use the Business Account User ID login, which is often a general address, such as info@company.com, and not your personal or other email address, such as neal@company.com.  If you login correctly, you will be able to see all the tabs, including ‘Small Batch Manufacturer.’  If you need further assistance logging in, contact Clearinghouse@cpsc.gov.

 

Step 2:  Registration:  Once you are certain that you can attest to the truth and accuracy of the statements for your sales and your revenues in calendar year 2016, you may check the boxes and submit your registration.  Within the next day or so, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message with your new, unique Small Batch Manufacturer Registration Number for 2016.  *Please save that e-mail message for your reference.* 

 

Please note that when you log in to your account after your registration for calendar year 2016 is accepted, your Business Portal account will display your unique Small Batch Manufacturer Registration Number for both calendar year 2015 and calendar year 2016.  Please use the appropriate number (from 2015 or 2016, based on the date of your product’s manufacture or final assembly) in drafting your Children’s Product Certificate.

 

Total Gross Revenues:  Note that the total gross revenues for your company from the prior calendar year (e.g., calendar year 2015 sales to qualify for calendar year 2016) from the sale of all consumer products must be $1,086,627 or less

 

(If your company’s revenues are currently $900,000 or more, we recommend that you defer registering with the CPSC until the final 2015 figures are released – the figure above will not be finalized until early 2016.  The size of the final inflation adjustment is still unknown.  If you register before the release and your revenues exceed the maximum allowed amount as adjusted in 2015, you must notify the CPSC to cancel your registration.) 

 

Registration is ongoing, and you may register at any time during the next calendar year – through December 2016.

 

Assistance:  If you have any questions or require assistance with the registration process, please e-mail: clearinghouse@cpsc.gov.

 

If you have any questions about how registration as a small batch manufacturer with the CPSC affects your obligations to test and certify your products as compliant with applicable consumer product safety rules or compliance with other CPSC rules, regulations, standards, or bans, please review the program information at: www.cpsc.gov/smallbatch.  If you need further assistance, please e-mail Neal Cohen at: ncohen@cpsc.gov.

 

 

Small Batch Manufacturers – Register for 2015

Small Batch Registry

If you are  currently a registered small batch manufacturer with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for calendar year 2014 and you wish to continue in this status, you must register again for calendar year 2015

Registration must be submitted annually. 

If you have not previously registered your small business with CPSC, but now wish to do so, please follow the instructions below but note that you will first have to create a user ID and password before you will be able to follow all of the steps below.

Registration is now open for calendar year 2015. 

If you wish to register as a small batch manufacturer for calendar year 2015, your registration must be based upon the total number of the same product units sold (7,500 units) and the total gross revenues ($1,068,336 or less) from the sales of all consumer products in the previous calendar year – January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.  If you meet those two requirements (the total gross revenues figure has been updated for inflation this year), you may now register for calendar year 2015 by logging into your user account in the Business Portal at: www.SaferProducts.gov.

Step 1:  Login:  When you log in to your account at: www.SaferProducts.gov and you click the “Small Batch Manufacturer” tab with your cursor, you will be asked to attest that your company satisfies the criteria you first used to register; the criteria are nearly the same as last year and only the gross total revenue figure has been updated to account for inflation.

If you do not see the “Small Batch Manufacturer” tab on your screen when you login, you may be using the wrong email login.  Remember that you may have used multiple emails when you created your account.  You should use the Business Account User ID login, which is often a general address, such as info@company.com, and not your personal or other email address, such as neal@company.com.  If you login correctly, you will be able to see all the tabs, including ‘Small Batch Manufacturer.’  If you need further assistance logging in, contact Clearinghouse@cpsc.gov.

Step 2:  Registration:  Once you are certain that you can attest to the truth and accuracy of the statements for your sales and your revenues in calendar year 2015, you may check the boxes and submit your registration.  Within the next day or so, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message with your new, unique Small Batch Manufacturer Registration Number for 2015.  *Please save that e-mail message for your reference.* 

Please note that when you log in to your account after your registration for calendar year 2015 is accepted, your Business Portal account will display your unique Small Batch Manufacturer Registration Number for both calendar year 2014 and calendar year 2015.  Please use the appropriate number (from 2014 or 2015, based on the date of your product’s manufacture or final assembly) in drafting your Children’s Product Certificate.

Total Gross Revenues:  Note that the total gross revenues for your company from the prior calendar year (e.g., calendar year 2014 sales to qualify for calendar year 2015) from the sale of all consumer products must be $1,068,336 or less

(If your company’s revenues are currently $900,000 or more, we recommend that you defer registering with the CPSC until the final 2014 figures are released – the figure above will not be finalized until early 2015.  The size of the final inflation adjustment is still unknown.  If you register before the release and your revenues exceed the maximum allowed amount as adjusted in 2014, you must notify the CPSC to cancel your registration.) 

Registration is ongoing, and you may register at any time during the next calendar year – through December 2015.

Assistance:  If you have any questions or require assistance with the registration process, please e-mail: clearinghouse@cpsc.gov.

 

If you have any questions about how registration as a small batch manufacturer with the CPSC affects your obligations to test and certify your products as compliant with applicable consumer product safety rules or compliance with other CPSC rules, regulations, standards, or bans, please review the program information at: www.cpsc.gov/smallbatch.  If you need further assistance, please e-mail Neal Cohen, CPSC Small Business Ombudsman at: ncohen@cpsc.gov.

 

CPSC Proposes Three Areas for Reducing Third-Party Testing

During the Senate confirmation hearing for incoming CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioner Joe Mohorovic, Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked each candidate what the CPSC could do to reduce the burden of Third-Party testing for manufacturers and importers of children’s products. In response to the Senator Thune questioning, both Chairman Kaye and Commissioner Mohorovic submitted a joint letter outlining three areas of focus for the Commission to reduce the burden of testing.

  1. Expanding the CPSC’s “determinations” for lead to include the other seven (7) heavy metals that are required for testing under ASTM F963-11. A CPSC determination exempts certain materials from testing based on either scientific data or consistent third-party test results which demonstrate that the heavy element(s) do not naturally occur in the material. Currently for lead materials such as wood, CMYK inks, natural and synthetic fibers are exempt from lead testing. These materials and perhaps others would be expanded to include the other seven (7) heavy metals.
  2. Research and compare other international standards such as ISO 8124 or EN-71 to current US Standards such as ASTM F963-11 for “equivalency” in testing methods and safety standards. If found to be equivalent, then manufacturers or importers who have previously tested their products to these standards would not need to test their products to the equivalent U.S. Standards.
  3. Producing guidance for the allowance of “de minimis” third-party testing exemptions where the area requiring testing on the product has a mass weight of less than 10 mg would require testing. While these very small areas on the product would still need to comply with any applicable chemical content limits, the CPSC would not require testing to demonstrate compliance.

While the Chairman and Commissioner did not give a timeline for beginning the process of implementing the points outlined in the letter, it is expected to be a “hot button” for Senator Thune who is expected to become the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the next Congress which oversees the CPSC.

CPSC Workshop April 3 – Potential Ways To Reduce Third Party Testing Costs Through Material Determinations Consistent with Assuring Compliance

Potential Ways to Reduce Third Party Testing Costs Through Material Determinations Consistent with Assuring Compliance:           cpsc logo

CPSC Workshop – April 3, 2014 

Tomorrow, beginning at 9 am, CPSC staff will hold a workshop on potential ways to reduce third party testing costs, to be held at CPSC’s National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, Maryland. You may find out more information and attend by registering here or you may watch the webcast at www.cpsc.gov/live (Note: Viewers will not be able to interact with the panels and presenters.)  Written comments may also be submitted by April 17, 2014. The goal of the workshop is to provide CPSC staff with information and evidence concerning possible Commission determinations that certain materials will comply with applicable safety standards with a high degree of assurance and without requiring third party testing.  Staff would like to emphasize that the workshop will focus on technical questions and information as detailed in the FR notice.

 

 

CPSC Issues Final Rule Safety Standard Soft Infant Toddler Carriers

The CPSC has issued a Final Rule on the Safety Standard for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers, 16 CFR 1226 on March 28, 2014. This final rule will become effective on September 29, 2014 and apply to products manufactured or imported on or after that date. The ASTM standard for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers, ASTM F2236-14, which was released on January 1, 2014, incorporates all the new mandatory requirements of the Final Rule.Front Soft Carriers

ASTM F2236-14’s definition of a “soft infant and toddler carrier” distinguishes soft infant and toddler carriers from other types of infant carriers that are also worn by a caregiver but that are not covered under ASTM F-2236-14, specifically slings (including wraps), and framed backpack carriers.

Soft infant and toddler carriers are designed to carry a child in an upright position. Slings are designed to carry a child in a reclined position. However, some slings may also be used to carry a child upright. The primary distinction between a sling and a soft infant and toddler carrier is that a sling allows for carrying a child in a reclined position. Different hazard patterns arise from carrying a child in a reclined position. Accordingly, slings are not covered by the standard for soft infant and toddler carriers.

Like soft infant and toddler carriers, framed backpack carriers are intended to carry a child in an upright position. However, framed backpack carriers are distinguishable from soft infant and toddler carriers because typically, backpack carriers are constructed of sewn fabric over a rigid frame and are intended solely for carrying a child on the caregiver’s back.

ASTM F2236-14 includes the following key provisions: scope, terminology, general requirements, performance requirements, test methods, marking and labeling, and instructional literature.

Scope

The scope of the voluntary standard was broadened in December 2012 to include soft infant and toddler carriers with an upper weight limit of up to 45 pounds. Previously, it was unclear whether carriers with upper weight limits over 25 pounds fell within the standard. Expanding the scope of the standard clarifies that all soft infant and toddler carrier products currently on the market fall within the standard.

Terminology

Section 3.1 of the standard includes 14 definitions to help explain general requirements and performance requirements. Section 3.1.7 of the standard explains that a “leg opening” is the “opening in the soft carrier through which the occupant’s legs extend when the product is used in the manufacturer’s recommended use position.” Sections 3.1.4 and 3.1.13 of ASTM F2236-14, respectively, explain that a “dynamic load” is the “application of impulsive force through free fall of a weight,” and that a “static load” is a “vertically downward force applied by a calibrated force gage or by dead weights.” Beginning in 2012, the standard included a new definition for “carrying position” to clarify methods for dynamic and static load testing in section 7 of the standard. Finally, in 2013, the standard was updated to include a new definition for “fastener” to aid in a new test for fastener strength and strap retention.

General Requirements

ASTM F2236-14 includes general requirements that the products must meet, as well as specified test methods to ensure compliance with the general requirements, which include:

  • restrictions on sharp points or edges, as defined by 16 CFR §§ 1500.48 and .49;
  • restrictions on small parts, as defined by 16 CFR part 1501;
  • restrictions on lead in paint, as set forth in 16 CFR part 1303;
  • requirements for locking and latching devices;
  • requirements for permanent warning labels;
  • restrictions on flammability, as set forth in 16 CFR part 1610;
  • requirements for toy accessories, as set forth in ASTM F 963.

The flammability requirement in section 5.7 of the standard was changed, beginning with ASTM F2236-13, from a flammable solids requirement (16 CFR 1500.3(c)(6)(vi)), to meet the more stringent flammability requirement for wearing apparel (16 CFR part 1610). Adopting the wearing apparel flammability requirement in the soft infant and toddler standard makes it consistent with other wearable infant carriers made of sewn fabric, such as slings, to prevent a foreseeable fire hazard in all wearable infant carriers.

Performance Requirements and Test Methods

ASTM F2236-14 provides performance requirements and test methods that are designed to protect against falls from the carrier due to large leg openings, breaking fasteners or seams, and straps that slip, including:

Leg Openings

Tested leg openings must not permit passage of a test sphere weighing 5 pounds that is 14.75 inches in circumference.

Dynamic and Static Load

Beginning with the 2012 version of ASTM F2236, the dynamic load test was strengthened from requiring a 25-pound shot bag to be dropped, free fall, from 1 inch above the seat area onto the carrier seat 1,000 times, to requiring testing with a 25-pound shot bag, or a shot bag equal to the manufacturer’s maximum occupant weight limit, whichever is heavier. Additionally, the static load test was revised—from requiring a 75-pound weight for testing—to requiring a 75-pound weight, or a weight equal to three times the manufacturer’s recommended maximum occupant weight, whichever is greater, to be placed in the seat area of the carrier for 1 minute. Such revisions to the dynamic and static load tests strengthen the test requirements, by requiring that products with a maximum recommended weight of 45 pounds be tested to a 135-pound weight instead of 75 pounds, which represents an 80 percent increase in the severity of the requirement.

ASTM F2236-14 requires that testing conducted with the new required loads must not result in a “hazardous condition,” as defined in the general requirements, or result in a structural failure, such as fasteners breaking or disengaging, or seams separating when tested in accordance with the dynamic and static load testing methods. Additionally, the standard provides that dynamic and static load testing must not result in adjustable sections of support/shoulder straps slipping more than 1 inch per strap from their original adjusted position after testing.

Section 6.2.2 of the standard on Support/Shoulder Strap Slippage was modified beginning with ASTM F2236-13a. The modification clarifies what constitutes passing or failing the strap slippage test. Section 6.2.2 was amended to state: “Adjustable sections of support/shoulder straps shall not slip, in a manner that loosens the strap, more than 1 in. (25 mm) per strap from their original adjusted position after dynamic and static load testing is performed in accordance with 7.2.1 and 7.2.2, respectively.” The amendment allows straps to tighten during testing but not loosen more than 1 inch, which is the intent of the testing.

Fastener Strength and Strap Retention

ASTM F2236-14 includes a new component-level performance requirement that was added to the standard in 2013 to evaluate the strength of fasteners and strap retention to help prevent falls from a carrier. Previously, soft infant and toddler carriers were recalled due to an occupant fall hazard caused by broken fasteners that passed the static and dynamic performance requirements in the then existing standard, ASTM F2236-10. Accordingly, the performance requirement in section 6.4 of ASTM F2236-14 states that load-bearing fasteners at the shoulder and waist of soft infant and toddler carriers, such as buckles, loops, and snaps, may not break or disengage; nor may their straps slip more than 1 inch when subjected to an 80-pound pull force. Adjustable leg opening fasteners must also be tested but are subjected to lower loads, a 45-pound pull force, because these fasteners do not carry the same load as fasteners at the shoulders and waist. ASTM F2236-14 requires that when tested, fasteners must not break or disengage, and adjustable elements must not slip more than 1 inch.

Similar to the strap slip requirement in the static and dynamic load testing section of the standard, ASTM also clarified the strap slip section of the fastener strength test section in ASTM F2236-13a. Sections 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 were amended to state: “Each unique fastener, except for leg opening adjustment fasteners as tested per 6.4.2, shall not break or disengage, and adjustable elements in straps shall not slip , in a manner that loosens the strap, more than 1 in. (2.5 cm) . . . .” This amendment allows straps to tighten during testing but not to loosen more than 1 inch, which is the intent of the testing.

Additionally, Note 1 to section 6.4 of the standard provides that the fastener strength and strap retention testing apply only to load-bearing fasteners. ASTM F2236-13 stated: “Fasteners intended to retain items such as, but not limited to, hoods, bibs and toy rings, are exempt from these requirements.” ASTM approved two changes to the language in Note 1 to clarify that several non-load-bearing features, “sleeping hoods” and “head adjustment fasteners,” are included in the list of examples exempted from fastener strength testing when such features are non-load-bearing. Note 1 in section 6.4 of ASTM F2236-14 now provides that: “Fasteners intended to retain items such as, but not limited to, sleeping hoods, head adjustment fasteners, bibs and toy rings, are exempt from these requirements.”

Unbounded Leg Opening

The voluntary standard was updated in 2013 to clarify the unbounded leg opening test procedure to improve test repeatability. ASTM F2236-14 requires that an unbounded leg opening must not allow complete passage of a truncated test cone that is 4.7 inches long, with a major diameter of 4.7 inches and a minor diameter of 3 inches. The standard requires a test cone to be pulled through the leg opening with a 5-pound force for 1 minute.

Marking, Labeling, and Instructional Literature

ASTM F2236-14 requires that each product and its retail package be marked or labeled with certain information and warnings. The warning label requirement was updated in 2013 to address fall and suffocation hazards. ASTM F2236-14 requires that the warning label provide a fall hazard statement addressing that infants can fall through wide leg openings or out of the carrier. The standard requires the following fall-related precautionary statements be addressed on the warning label: Adjust leg openings to fit baby’s legs snugly; before each use, make sure all [fasteners/knots] are secure; take special care when leaning or walking; never bend at waist, bend at knees; only use this carrier for children between _ lbs. and _ lbs. Additionally, ASTM F2236-14 requires that a suffocation hazard statement must address the fact that infants under 4 months old can suffocate in the carrier if the child’s face is pressed tightly against the caregiver’s body. The standard requires that the warning label must also address the following suffocation-related precautionary statements: Do not strap infant too tightly against your body; allow room for head movement; keep infant’s face free from obstructions at all times. Products must also contain an informational statement that a child must face toward the caregiver until heor she can hold his or her head upright. All products are required to come with instructional literature on assembly, use, maintenance, cleaning, and required warnings.

ASTM F2236-14 includes an example warning label that identifies more clearly the hazards, the consequences of ignoring the warning, and how to avoid the hazards. The label format was designed to communicate more effectively these warnings to the caregiver (Fig. 1). Manufacturers may alter the rectangular shape of the label to fit on shoulder straps, if the manufacturer chooses not to place label in the occupant space. However, the standard requires that the label be placed in a prominent and conspicuous location, where the caregiver will see the label when placing the soft infant and toddler carrier on their body.

Unsure how this might impact your product or future product development? Contact us today to see how we can help. info@jacobysolutions.com or 866-873-7335 ext. 101

 

CPSC Issues Final Rule for the Safety Standard of Bedside Sleepers

Co-SleeperThe CPSC issued a Final Rule for the Safety Standard of Bedside Sleepers on January 15, 2014 with an effective date of July 15, 2014. The rule incorporates the voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), ASTM F2906-13, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bedside Sleepers” (ASTM F2906-13), by reference, and requires bedside sleepers to be tested to 16 CFR part 1218, the Safety Standard for Bassinets and Cradles (bassinet standard). ASTM F2906-13 defines “bedside sleeper” as “a rigid frame assembly that may be combined with a fabric or mesh assembly, or both, used to function as sides, ends, or floor or a combination thereof, and that is intended to provide a sleeping environment for infants and is secured to an adult bed.” A “multi-mode product” is “a unit that is designed and intended to be used in more than one mode (for example, a play yard, bassinet, changing table, hand held carrier, or bedside sleeper).” A bedside sleeper is intended to be secured to an adult bed to permit newborns and infants to sleep close by an adult without being in the adult bed. Bedside sleepers currently on the market have a horizontal sleep surface that typically is 1 inch to 4 inches below the level of the adult bed’s mattress. The side of the bedside sleeper that is adjacent to the adult bed can usually be adjusted to a lower position, a feature that differentiates bedside sleepers from bassinets, where all four sides of a bassinet are the same height. Current bedside sleepers range in size from about 35″ x 20″ to 40″ x 30.″ Bedside sleepers may have rigid sides, but they are most commonly constructed with a tube frame covered by mesh or fabric. Bedside sleepers are intended for use with children up to the developmental stage where they can push up on hands and knees (about 5 months). This is the same developmental range for the intended users of bassinets. Several manufacturers produce multiuse (or multimode) bedside sleeper products that can convert into bassinets and/or play yards. Most bedside sleeper products can be converted into a bassinet by raising the lowered side to create four equal-height sides, and a few also convert into both a bassinet and play yard. Some play yards include bedside sleeper accessories, which when attached, convert the play yard into a bedside sleeper; and some bassinets convert into bedside sleepers. All of the tube-framed products that CPSC staff has evaluated may be collapsed for storage and transport. A bedside sleeper that can be used in additional modes would need to meet each applicable standard. For example, a bedside sleeper that converts to a bassinet must meet the bedside sleeper standard and the bassinet standard. The CPSC has proposed to adopt by reference, ASTM International’s voluntary standard, ASTM F2906-12, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bedside Sleepers, with a few additions to strengthen the standard.

  • § 5.1Prior to or immediately after testing to this consumer safety specification, the bedside sleeper must be tested to 16 CFR part 1218. Multimode products must also be tested to each applicable standard. When testing to 16 CFR part 1218, the unit shall be freestanding, and not be secured to the test platform, as dictated elsewhere in this standard.
  • § 5.1.1The bassinet minimum side height shall be as required in 16 CFR part 1218, with the exception of a lowered side rail as permitted in § 5.4.Show citation box
  • § 7.1All bedside sleeper products shall comply with the marking and labeling requirements of 16 CFR part 1218.
  • § 8.1All bedside sleeper products shall comply with the instructional literature requirements of 16 CFR part 1218

CPSC Issues Direct Final Rule on the Safety Standards for Infant Bath Seats, Toddler Beds, and Full-Size Baby Cribs

CPSC_logo_redblue_QR The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Monday, December 9, 2013, issued a direct final rule on the Safety Standards for Infant Bath Seats, Toddler Beds, and Full-Size Cribs. Under the authority of section 104(b) of the CPSIA, the CPSC is publishing this direct final rule, revising the CPSC’s standards for infant bath seats, toddler beds, and full-size cribs, to incorporate by reference more recent versions of the applicable ASTM standards.

The rule is effective on March 24, 2014, unless the CPSC receives significant adverse comment by January 8, 2014. If the CPSC receives timely significant adverse comments, they will publish notification in the Federal Register, withdrawing this direct final rule before its effective date.

Infant Bath Seats

On September 25, 2013 the ASTM revised the safety standard for infant bath seats to the current ASTM standard, ASTM F1967-13. The differences between the previous version, ASTM F1967-11a and the current version, ASTM F1967-13 is outlined below.

Attachment Components. The 2013 version of the ASTM standard contains a new definition and requirement for attachment components. The requirement specifies that all components needed to attach the bath seat to the bath tub (attachment components) must be permanently attached to the bath seat. The CPSC is aware of a bath seat design that provides some attachment components that are separate from the bath seat. With this design, consumers must install the attachment components, consisting of adhesive discs, on to the bath tub surface. If the consumer fails to install the adhesive discs or fails to install them properly, these bath seats pose a tip over hazard.

Test Surface Preparation. ASTM F1967-11a specifies that bath seats be tested for stability on two specific test surfaces and also provides specific directions for preparing the test surfaces. The CPSC is aware of third party testing laboratories that interpreted one step in the testing preparation directions differently than ASTM intended. Following this alternate interpretation, the testing laboratory provided passing test results for some bath seats that otherwise would not have passed the stability requirement. Therefore, ASTM changed this section of the standard to specify more clearly test surface preparation.

Definition of a Bath Seat/Restraints Systems. In 2011, ASTM changed the definition of a “bath seat” to specify better the type of support that a bath seat provides. Before the ASTM F1967-11a version, the definition of “bath seat” did not specify the type of support the product provided. The revised (and current) definition states that a bath seat provides, at a minimum, support to the front and back of a seated infant. Thus, a product with only back support is no longer considered a bath seat. ASTM F1967-13 removes a provision that applied to bath seats with only back support because the provision is no longer relevant, given the current definition of “bath seat” as a product with front and back support.

Suction Cup Requirements. ASTM clarified two requirements for testing bath seats that use suction cups. The standard provides two suction cup test requirements: One provision evaluates the attachment between the suction cups and the test surface; the other evaluates the attachment of the suction cups to the bath seat itself. The first difference between the two versions clarifies the test requirement to emphasize that the bath seat must actually attach to the test surfaces as part of the test. The second difference specifies that this particular test only needs to be performed on one of the two test surfaces.

Markings and Labeling. ASTM made two minor changes to labeling requirements. One revision changed the test for label permanency to the relative humidity (RH) to be a range rather than a specific RH. The CPSC considers this a practical change that was needed because producing an exact RH for the test is difficult. The second change to the labeling requirements removes the word “adult” before the term “caregiver” in a provision that requires a warning to “be located on the product so that it is visible to the [adult] caregiver.”

Toddler Beds

On September 25, 2013, ASTM notified the CPSC that ASTM has revised ASTM F1821 again and has published a new version, ASTM F1821-13. This version contains 12 significant changes from ASTM F1821-09. These changes bring the ASTM standard into accord with the CPSC’s mandatory standard for toddler beds at 16 CFR part 1217.

Full-Size Cribs

The revised standard, ASTM F1169-13, differs from ASTM F1169-11 (the current CPSC standard) in one aspect that is reflected in two sections of the revised standard. ASTM F1169-11 requires that before and after testing a crib, the crib must comply with all general requirements of the standard. These general requirements address the distance between slats. However, the specific testing procedure for slats allows for one slat to fail during testing if the load at failure is at least 60 pounds and an additional 25 percent of the slats are tested and meet the 80-pound force requirement. Thus, a tested crib potentially could comply with the specific testing procedures for slats even if a slat failed during testing, but not meet the general slat spacing requirements because of the failed slat. In that situation, the crib would not comply with the requirements in the current standard because the crib would not meet all of the general requirements after the crib had been tested.

The revised standard, ASTM F1169-13, provides an exception for this specific situation so that a crib’s failure to meet the slat spacing requirement under the testing circumstances described above would not cause the crib to be considered noncompliant.

CPSC Issues Final Rule for Hand-Held Infant Carriers

Hand-Held Infant Carrier

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a Final Rule for Hand-Held Infant Carriers on Friday, December 6, 2013. The rule will become effective on June 6, 2014.

On December 10, 2012, the CPSC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for hand-held infant carriers. 77 FR 73354. The NPR proposed to incorporate by reference the then current voluntary standard, ASTM F2050-12, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Hand-Held Infant Carriers, with certain modifications to strengthen the ASTM standard.

One proposed modification provided for a change in the warning label to better address suffocation and restraint-related hazards. The other proposed modification addressed the testing procedures for the carry handle auto-locking requirement and specified using an aluminum cylinder as the surrogate for the occupant of the carrier rather than a CAMI Mark II 6-month infant dummy (CAMI dummy).

Since the CPSC published the NPR, ASTM has revised ASTM F2050 twice. On July 1, 2013, ASTM approved an updated version of the voluntary standard, ASTM F2050-13, which includes the warning label modification proposed in the NPR.

On September 1, 2013, ASTM approved another revision of the voluntary standard, ASTM F2050-13a, which includes a carry handle auto-locking performance requirement that is different than the requirement proposed in the NPR.

The draft final rule incorporates by reference the most recent version of the ASTM standard, ASTM F2050-13a, with one modification—a clarification of the definition of “hand-held infant carrier,” to include a specific reference to both “rigid-sided” and “semi-rigid-sided” products.

Changes to Requirements of ASTM F2050-13a

The final rule modifies the definition of “hand-held infant carrier” to clarify that the definition includes products with semi rigid sides, as well as products that are rigid-sided. ASTM revised the hand-held infant carrier standard in 2012, to include a separate definition for “hand-held bassinets/cradles.”

A Moses basket meets the definition of a “hand-held bassinet” because a Moses basket is a freestanding product with a rest/support surface that is no more than 10° from horizontal, that sits directly on the floor, without legs or a stand, and has handles or hand-holds intended to allow carrying an occupant whose torso is completely supported by the product. However, because hand-held infant carriers (of which hand-held bassinets/cradles are a subset) are defined in part as “a rigid-sided product” and many Moses baskets have flexible sides, some manufacturers and importers may have interpreted the standard as excluding semi-rigid-sided products such as Moses baskets.

Because Moses baskets meet the definition of “hand-held bassinet/cradle,” and Moses baskets are not subject to any other durable children’s product standard (specifically ASTM F2194-13, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles), the CPSC has determined that Moses baskets are within the scope of the rule. The modification of the definition of “hand-held infant carrier” to include semi rigid-sided products clarifies that Moses baskets are covered by the rule.

Warning Label: The NPR proposed requiring a strangulation warning label to be affixed to the outer surface of the cushion or padding of a hand-held carrier seat in or adjacent to the area where the child’s head would rest. Under the proposal, the warning label for hand-held carrier seats that are intended to be used as restraints in motor vehicles would include a pictogram, while the warning label for hand-held carrier seats not intended to be used as restraints in motor vehicles would not include the pictogram because these seats do not have the chest clips depicted in the pictogram.

Handle Auto-Lock Test: The NPR proposed a modification of the test method for preventing the carrier from rotating and spilling an unrestrained infant when a caregiver picks up the carrier and the handle is not locked in the carry position. The test method in ASTM F2050-12 required the tester to use a standard CAMI dummy as an infant surrogate. The NPR proposed a change that would require the tester to use an aluminum cylinder designed as a surrogate for a 6-month-old infant, in lieu of the CAMI dummy, because testing had revealed that the CAMI dummy could be wedged into the seat padding or otherwise manipulated, so that the CAMI dummy did not fall out during the lift test when the CAMI dummy otherwise should fall. Furthermore, the Commission was concerned that the ability to pass or fail the test based on friction or placement of the CAMI would affect the consistency and repeatability of the test results.

Time for Small Batch Manufacturers to Reapply for Exemption for 2014

Small Batch Registration Deadline

 

NOTE that if you are a registered small batch manufacturer with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for calendar year 2013 and you wish to continue in this status, you must register again for calendar year 2014.  Registration must be submitted annually.  On or about December 1st, 2013, the CPSC will release instructions on how to renew your registration.

 

If you qualify and if you are a manufacturer of children’s products and produce in small batches, it is critical that you register for a small batch exemption if your sales are less than 1 million dollars from the previous calendar year or you have manufactured less than 7,500 qualifying (children’s products) units. See the CPSC website for details relating to your product.

If you are a new company  and new to this subject matter, you may have this question. Are small batch manufacturers currently required to third party test their children’s products in order to certify compliance to applicable regulations?

 It depends on the children’s product and the materials used to manufacture that children’s product.

Small batch manufacturers must always third party test for the following children’s product safety rules (Group A):

Qualifying small batch manufacturers are NOT required to third party test for compliance with certain other children’s product safety rules. Note, however, that all manufacturers, even those that are small batch manufacturers, must ensure that their children’s products are in compliance with the underlying children’s product safety rules in Group B and issue a general certificate of conformity (GCC)

Qualifying small batch manufacturers registered with the Commission are NOT required to third party test for the following children’s product safety rules (Group B):

With respect to Group B, qualifying small batch manufacturers will need to ensure that the products comply with those regulations and issue a general certificate of conformity (GCC).

As a qualifying small batch manufacturer, you will need to register with the CPSC on an annual basis.  You can visit the CPSC page for more information. Ignorance of the law is no excuse so please register today.

CPSC Approves New Safety Standard for Bassinets and Cradles

At the end of September 2013, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a newbassinets and cradles safety standard for bassinets and cradles over the objection of Commissioner Nancy Nord. On October 23, 2013, the Final Rule was published in the Federal Register and is effective six (6) months after the publication date in the Federal Register.

The new standard is based on a voluntary industry standard known as ASTM F2194-13, but places stricter requirements on the pass-fail criterion for the so-called “mattress flatness test.” In the mattress flatness test, a cylindrical weight is placed on a seam, and the angle between the weight and the mattress is measured. The voluntary standard allows the test to be performed up to three times, and the results averaged. The new standard, by contrast, does not permit averaging.

In voting against the safety standard, Commissioner Nord urged CPSC to defer to the voluntary standard’s averaging methodology. In her view, it is difficult to know if the proposed criterion is any safer than that already being used in the industry. She stated: “although no concrete evidence has been presented that demonstrates a difference in safety between the two criteria, and that alone is sufficient to convince me that the Commission should adopt ASTM’s criterion, the voluntary standard also strives to address the variability inherent in manufacturing and testing, and that is something the agency equally should strive to address appropriately.”

The new safety standard also imposes a removable bassinet bed stability requirement.
Because of the time required to redesign removable bassinet beds, manufacturers and importers have until eighteen months after the date of publication to comply with the new requirements for removable bassinet beds.