The stay of enforcement on the CPSC requirement — that all children’s products undergo a third-party test and be issued a certificate for total lead or phthalate content (as applicable) — expires on December 31, 2011.
The CPSIA becomes fully effective on January 1, 2012. As of this date, Children’s Products and Toy Manufacturers are required to issue a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC), based on third-party testing from a CPSC-recognized laboratory, to retailers and distributors, and, upon request, to the CPSC for children’s products imported or distributed in commerce on or after January 1, 2012.
Defining A Children’s Product
The CPSC has defined a “children’s product” to mean a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. In determining whether a consumer product is primarily intended for a child 12 years of age or younger, you need to consider the following factors:
• A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such statement is reasonable.
• Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger.
• Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger.
• The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002, and any successor to such guidelines.
The lead content limit applies to all children’s products
What is a GCC?
A GCC (General Certificate of Conformity) is a document that certifies that the product complies with the CPSIA regulations, based on a test of
each product or a reasonable testing program. The law requires that each import (and domestic manufacturer)
shipment be “accompanied” by the required certificate. This certificate does not need to physically
accompany the product — it will be deemed accessible if available via the internet.
These certificates must accompany the product through the distribution chain through the retailer. They must be available to the CPSC during any inspection.
What is a CPC?
CPC (the CPSC now refers to these certificates as CPC’s instead of General Certificates of Conformity (GCC) to differentiate between certificates for children’s products (CPC) and non-children’s products (GCC)).
Each certificate must include the following information:
• Identification of the product covered by the certificate
• Applicable CPSC rule or ban
• Identification of the manufacturer
• Identification of the person maintaining the testing information
• Date and place where the product was manufactured
• Date and place where the product was tested
• Identification of the third-party testing facility used
The law requires each import (and domestic manufacturer) shipment to be “accompanied” by the required certificate. The requirement applies to imports and products manufactured domestically. Under CPSC regulations, an electronic certificate is “accompanying” a shipment if the certificate is identified by a unique identifier and can be accessed via a World Wide Web URL or other electronic means, provided the URL or other electronic means and the unique identifier are created in advance and are available with the shipment.
Why would the CPSC require that the electronic version and unique identifier be created in advance of the shipment?
Because the product needs to be certified PRIOR to either importation into the country or domestic manufacturer shipment. It cannot be created on the “fly”
Can one Children’s Product Certificate certify that the product complies with multiple children’s product safety rules?
Yes. For example, if – for a product manufactured after December 31, 2011 – you are certifying that your product complies with the ban on phthalates, the toy safety standard, limits on total lead content and lead in paint, the small parts requirements, and other applicable regulations, then Part 2 of your Children’s Product Certificate would read as follows:
Sec. 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-314 (August 14, 2008) (CPSIA), Ban on Certain Phthalates in Toys and Children’s Products.
ASTM F963-08, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. (You must list the specific numeric sections of the toy safety standard to which you are certifying.)
Sec. 101 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-314 (August 14, 2008) (CPSIA), Ban on Total Lead Content in Children’s Products in Excess of 100 ppm in Children’s Products. 16 CFR part 1303, Ban of Lead-Containing Paint and Certain Consumer Products Bearing Lead-Containing Paint for Toys and Other Articles Intended for Children.
16 CFR part 1501, Small Parts Ban for Toys and Other Articles Intended for Children under 3 Years of Age which Present Choking, Aspiration, or Ingestion Hazards.
If your product is subject to an additional mandatory regulation, rule, ban, or standard for which third party testing and certification currently is required, then you would include the citation to that regulation, rule, ban, or standard as well. The full title of each requirement is provided above for your information only and does not need to be included in your children’s product certificate. Part 2 of the Children’s Product Certificate is adequate if you reference the specific section(s) of the children’s product safety rule to which you are certifying the product without including the full title of each requirement.
The Following Reference Material is from The CPSC Website
SAMPLE GENERAL CERTIFICATION OF CONFORMITY
CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE
1. Identification of the product covered by this
2. Citation to each CPSC product safety regulation to which
this product is being certified:
3. Identification of the U.S. importer or domestic
manufacturer certifying compliance of the product:
4. Contact information for the individual maintaining
records of test results:
5. Date and place where this product was manufactured:
6. Date and place where this product was tested for
compliance with the regulation(s) cited above:
7. Identification of any third-party laboratory on whose
testing the certificate depends:
***This form of certificate and instructions are staff interpretations and do not replace or supersede the statutory requirements of the new legislation. They were prepared by CPSC staff, have not been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. They may be subject to change based on Commission action. Instructions for completing the General Certification of Conformity
General Instructions. This sample shows the information that is required for an acceptable certification required by section
14(g) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2063(g).
The required information must be provided in English.
Item 1: Describe the product covered by this certification in
enough detail to match the certificate to each product it covers
and no others.
Item 2: The certificate must identify separately each rule, ban,
standard or regulation under the Acts administered by the
Commission that is applicable to the product.
Item 3: Provide the name, full mailing address, and telephone
number of the importer or U.S. domestic manufacturer certifying
Item 4: Provide the name, full mailing address, e-mail address
and telephone number of the person maintaining test records in
support of the certification.
Item 5: Provide the date(s) when the product was manufactured by
at least month and year. For the place of manufacture provide
at least the city and country or administrative region of the
place where the product was finally manufactured or assembled.
If the same manufacturer operates more than one location in the
same city, provide the street address of the factory.
Item 6: Give the date of the tests or test report(s) on which
certification is being based and the location(s) of the testing.
Item 7: If a third-party laboratory tested the product or
conducted a testing program on which the certification is based,
give the name, full mailing address and telephone number of the
This form of certificate and instructions are staff interpretations and do not replace or supersede the statutory requirements of the new legislation. They were prepared by CPSC staff, have not been reviewed or
approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. They may be subject to change based on Commission action.
Q. Can electronic certificates be used to meet the requirements of Section 102 rather than
A. The Commission has issued a rule specifically allowing use of an electronic certificate provided the Commission has reasonable access to it, it contains all of the information required
by section 102 of the CPSIA, and it complies with the other requirements of the rule. The rule is available on the CPSC World Wide Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr09/certification.pdf
Q. Who must issue the certificate?
A. Under the Commission’s rule at http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr09/certification.pdf, for products manufactured overseas, the certificate must be issued by the importer. For products
produced domestically, the certificate must be issued by the U.S. manufacturer. Neither a foreign manufacturer nor a private labeler is required to issue a certificate. Neither need be identified on the certificate issued by the importer or domestic manufacturer.
Q. Must each shipment be “accompanied” by a certificate?
A. Yes, the law requires that each import (and domestic manufacturer) shipment be ”accompanied” by the required certificate. The requirement applies to imports and products
manufactured domestically. Under the rule issued by the Commission an electronic certificate is ”accompanying” a shipment if the certificate is identified by a unique identifier and can be
accessed via a World Wide Web URL or other electronic means, provided the URL or other electronic means and the unique identifier are created in advance and available with the
shipment. Certificates can also be transmitted electronically to a broker with other customs entry documents before a shipment arrives so long as they are available to the Commission or Customs
and Border Protection staff if the product or shipment is inspected.
Q. Is the importer or U.S. manufacturer required to supply the certificate to its
distributors and retailers?
A. Yes. The importer or U.S. manufacturer is required to “furnish” the certificate to its distributors and retailers. The Commission’s rule states that this requirement is satisfied if the
importer or U.S. manufacturer provides its distributors and retailers a reasonable means to access the certificate.
Q. Must the certifier sign the certificate?
A. No. Issuing the certificate satisfies the new law. It does not have to be signed by the issuer. Q. On what does my certification have to be based?
A. The general conformity certification must be based on a test of each product or a reasonable
Q. Where must these certificates be filed?
A. A certificate does not have to be filed with the government. As noted above, the certificate must “accompany” the product shipment, and be “furnished” to distributors and retailers, and be furnished to CPSC upon request.
These FAQs are unofficial descriptions and interpretations of various features of CPSIA and do not replace or supersede the statutory requirements of the new legislation. These FAQs were prepared by
CPSC staff, have not been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. Some FAQs may be subject to change based on Commission action.