Juvenile products must include product recall cards


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As of June 2010, many durable infant and toddler products—including cribs, play yards, strollers, and high chairs—were required to contain a product registration card and a method to register online that allow purchasers of these products to easily register them with their manufacturer. (The information is only allowed to be used for notification of a recall or other safety concern—not marketing.) Companies are required to notify all of those purchasers who have completed the registration of a recall or other product safety issue.

However, a recent national survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA)—undertaken by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC)—found that over three-fifths of parents with children under 12 (61%) were not aware of this new protection. And an even larger proportion of all adults (68%) did not know about it.

CFA and Kids In Danger (KID) have compiled a list with links to most manufacturers’ registration sites.

In addition, CFA, KID and Consumers Union have produced a brochure that is available online and available in hard copy upon request.  You can contact CFA by email at cfa@consumerfed.org to order copies of the brochure.

The materials also can be accessed online through www.consumerfed.org and www.KidsInDanger.org.

Eighteen types of durable infant and toddler products are required to have the product registration cards. These products include full-size cribs and non-full-size cribs; toddler beds; high chairs, booster seats, and portable hook-on chairs, bath seats; gates and other enclosures for confining a child; play yards; stationary activity centers; infant carriers; strollers; walkers; swings; bassinets and cradles; children’s folding chairs; changing tables; infant bouncers; infant bath tubs; bed rails; and infant slings.



product safetyrecallswarranties

CPSC Approves Testing Regulations


October 19,2011  The CSPC voted (3-2) to approve two testing rulemakings: “Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification” and“Conditions and Requirements for Relying on Component Part Testing or Certification, or Another Party’s Finished Product Testing or Certification, to Meet Testing and Certification Requirements.”  In addition, the CPSC approved (5-0) a request for comment on ways to reduce the cost of third party testing requirements.  The comments are due 75 days after publication in the federal register.  Contentions between the Commissioners demonstrated philosophical differences, with the minority believing the rules were not as flexible or practical as they could be.

Also, a point of interest, today was Commissioner Thomas Moore’s last Commission meeting.  The White House has not yet appointed a replacement for the democratic Commissioner.  Until a new Commissioner is approved, the Commission will very likely be deadlocked 2-2 on  divisive issues.

CPSC will be holding a hearing on October 26 at 10am EST on Alternative Requirements for Small Batch Manufacturers.  The hearing will be webcast live.


Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification

The following rule goes in effect 15 months after publication in the Federal Register.

The rulemaking lays out requirements for ensuring continued testing of children’s products periodically and when there has been a material change to the product.  Whether conducting periodic testing or testing because of a material change in the product, a manufacturer must submit a sufficient number of samples of a children’s product, or samples that are identical in all material respects to the children’s product, to a third party conformity assessment body for testing to support certification.  “Identical in all material respects” means there is no difference with respect to compliance between the sample tested and the finished product.  Component testing consistent with the “Component Part Testing Rule” (see below) may be used to support certification testing requirements of this section.

The number of samples selected must provide the manufacturer with a high degree of assurance that the testing accurately demonstrates the compliance of the children’s product.  “High degree of assurance” means, “an evidence-based demonstration of consistent performance of a product regarding compliance based on knowledge of a product and its manufacture.”  The number of samples submitted may depend on the manufacturing process, materials used, standard the product is being tested to, etc.

Any testing failure must be investigated and the manufacturer must take necessary steps to address the reasons for the failure.  This may involve retesting the product but only when the manufacturer has a high degree of assurance that the product complies can the manufacturer issue a certification.


Random Representative Sampling

HR 2715 (the CPSIA amendment) amended the testing requirements by requiring a manufacturer test “representative” samples in lieu of “random” samples.  This gives manufacturers broader discretion in choosing samples of products to be tested.  Manufacturers may still conduct “random” sampling so long as the sampling is “representative.”  The CPSC staff clarified this requirement stating that the procedure used to select representative product samples must provide a basis for inferring compliance about the population of untested products.  The manufacturer must document the procedure used to select the product samples for periodic testing and the basis for inferring compliance of the unmanufactured products.

This specific provision is subject to comments due 75 days after publication in the federal register notice.


Periodic Testing

Periodic testing must be done for all children’s products and conducted by a third party testing facility.  A manufacturer has three options but regardless of the option the manufacturer chooses, the time between tests (or testing intervals) must be short enough to ensure there is a high degree of assurance that the untested products comply with the product safety standard.   The manufacturer should consider various factors in choosing testing intervals including: high variability in test results, known manufacturing process factors that could affect compliance, consumer complaints, introduction of new components, number of products produced, similarity with other children’s products, etc.  The three options are as follows:

Without any additional testing (as the below two options), periodic testing must be conducted at least once a year.  Manufacturers must develop a separate periodic testing plan for each manufacturing site that gives a high degree of assurance of continued compliance.  The periodic testing plan must include: tests to be conducted, the number of samples tested, and intervals at which tests will be conducted.

If a manufacturer implements a production testing plan, periodic testing must be conducted at least once every two years.  A production testing plan includes the production management techniques and tests that must be performed to provide a high degree of assurance that the products manufactured after certification continue to meet all the applicable product safety regulations.  Control charts, statistical process control programs, failure modes and effects analyses, etc. can all be elements of a “production testing plan.”  The production test plan may be tailored to the manufacturer’s needs but cannot be solely based on mathematical methods.  The manufacturer must document the production test plan (process management techniques used, tests conducted, intervals selected, number of samples, basis for determining that the plan provides a high degree of assurance of product compliance).

Manufacturers conducting continued compliance testing with testing facilities accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 only need to third party test once every three years. 

Test methods must be the same as those used for certification to the applicable children’s product safety rules.  Frequency of testing with the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certified testing facility must provide a high degree of assurance that the untested children’s products are compliant.


Material Change

A manufacturer must conduct third party testing every time there is a material changeto the children’s product.  “Material change” is any change in the product’s design, manufacturing process, materials, or sourcing that a manufacturer exercising due care knows, or should know, could affect the product’s ability to comply with the underlying product safety regulation.  Third party testing is limited to the “materially changed” component.

Undue Influence

Each manufacturer must establish procedures to safeguard against the exercise of undue influence by a manufacturer on a third party testing facility.  The procedures must include:

  • Safeguards including a written policy statement from company officials that the exercise of undue influence is not acceptable and directing that every appropriate staff member receive training on avoiding undue influence, and sign a statement attesting to participation in such training;
  • A requirement that retraining occur (as necessary) should the “undue influence” regulations change;
  • A  requirement to notify the CPSC immediately of any attempt by the manufacturer to hide or exert undue influence over test results; and
  •  A requirement to inform employees that allegations of undue influence may be reported confidentially to the CPSC and a description of how these reports may be made.


The following records must be maintained for five years and be made available to the CPSC upon request.  Records do not need to be maintained in English if they can be translated within 48 hours.

  • The Children’s Product Certificate for each product,
  •  Each third party certification test.  Each manufacturing site must have separate certification tests,
  • Records of periodic tests which may include:
  • Periodic test plan and periodic test results,
  • A production testing plan, production test results and periodic test results, or
  •  Testing results of test conducted by a testing facility accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and periodic test results,
  •  Records documenting the testing of representative samples including the number of representative samples selected, the procedure used to select the samples and the basis for inferring compliance of the untested products from the results of the tested samples,
  • Descriptions of all material changes and the certification tests, and
  • Undue influence procedures (including training materials and employee training records).

Component Part Testing Rule

The following rule goes into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.   The rule lays out the conditions and requirements whereby a final product General Conformity Certification (GCC) or Children’s Product Certification (CPC) may be based on:

  • Passing component part test reports,
  • Certification of component parts of consumer products, or
  • Finished product testing or certification conducted by a foreign manufacturer.

The final product certification (or final GCC/CPC) must be issued by the finished product certifier or the importer or domestic manufacturer.  All other entities in the supply chain may test or certify components and/or finished products but are not required to do so.


Requirements for Component Part Certification

Component part certification can only be conducted if testing of the component part is required or sufficient to assess compliance.  The component part tested must be identical in all material respects to the component parts used in the finished consumer product (the same definition of “identical in all material respects” as above applies).

The certifier or testing party is responsible for exercising due care to ensure that while a component part or finished product is in its custody, proper quality control is maintained for any factor that could affect the finished product’s compliance.  Quality control includes material management, manufacturing process control and any other action/inaction that could affect compliance.  Any “known or knowable” problems should be resolved.   In addition, the certifier or testing party must ensure that testing is done in accordance to the “Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification” rulemaking (see above) and any other applicable requirements.

Component part testing must be traceable meaning that the final product certifier must be able to trace back to the testing parties (including the name and address of each testing party and any third party testing facility that conducted testing on the component part or finished product).  For example, if a toy’s screws are supplied by Supplier A, tested and assembled into the toy by Manufacturer B and Certified by Importer C, Importer C must be able to trace the screws back to Manufacturer B.  If Supplier A tests the screws, then Importer C must be able to trace the screws back to Supplier A.



The following records must be maintained for five years and be made available to the CPSC upon request.  Records do not need to be maintained in English if they can be translated within 48 hours.

  • Identification of the component part or finished product tested,
  • Identification of lot or batch number or other information to identify the component part/finished product to which the testing applies,
  •  Identification of the applicable product safety standard(s),
  • Identification of the testing method(s) and sampling protocol(s) used,
  • Date/date range when the component part or finished product was tested,
  • Test reports that provide the results and test values (must be numerical if applicable – not pass/fail),
  • Identification of the third party testing facility that tested the component or finished product and an attestation by the testing facility that all testing of a component part or finished product by that party was performed in compliance with applicable requirements,
  • Component part certificate(s) or finished product certificate(s), if any,
  • Records to support traceability,
  • An attestation by each certifier and testing party that while the component part or finished product was in its custody, it exercised due care to ensure compliance with the requirements in the regulation.

The finished product certifier must receive all documents before relying on another party’s certification or test report and exercise “due care.”  “Due care” means addressing any concern over the documents’ validity before relying on such documents to issue a final product certificate.


Component Part Testing for Lead Paint, Lead Substrate and Phthalates

Component part testing of lead paint is allowed provided:

  • Unless using the ASTM F 2853-10 to test for lead in paint, the testing is performed on dry paint that is scraped off any substrate.
  • The paint is identical in all material respects to the paint used in production of the consumer product.  The paint may be supplied in either liquid form or dried film on a surface.  (Note: if a paint color is made up of many base colors, and each base color is tested and found compliant with the lead content requirements, then the finished ink can be certified based on the testing of the base colors.)

The regulation also states that component part testing for phthalates and lead substrate are both allowed provided that the requirements in this regulation are met.


Composit testing (testing done on a combination of different paint samples or component parts) may be used for both paint and substrates.  “In composite testing, only the total amount or percentage of the target chemical is determined, not how much was in each individual paint or component part.  Therefore, to determine that each paint or component part is within the applicable limit, the entire amount of the target chemical in the compost is attributed to each paint or component part.”

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Action Needed to Strengthen Identification of Potentially Unsafe Products

GAO-12-30 October 12, 2011


In the wake of increased product recalls in 2007-2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Among other things, CPSIA requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish a database on the safety of consumer products that is publicly available, searchable, and accessible through the CPSC Web site. In response, CPSC launched SaferProducts.gov in March 2011. The Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 requires GAO to report on the data collected by CPSC in its safety information database. This report examines (1) the information required for submitting a report of harm to SaferProducts.gov, (2) the information used to identify the product and to allow CPSC to review manufacturer claims of material inaccuracy in a report of harm, and (3) the length of time CPSC takes to review a manufacturer’s claim that a report contains materially inaccurate information. To do this work, GAO analyzed agency data, regulations, and CPSC program documentation and interviewed CPSC staff and various industry and consumer representatives.

To be eligible for publication on SaferProducts.gov, reports of harm involving a consumer product must contain several types of information, such as descriptions of the product and the associated harm. Reports may be submitted by consumers, government agencies, and health care professionals, among others. GAO’s analysis of CPSC data as of July 7, 2011, showed that 38 percent of the 5,464 reports submitted to CPSC contained information that CPSIA requires for publication. Of these reports, 1,847 were published on SaferProducts.gov. Although not required, many submitters appear to have firsthand knowledge of the product–37 percent of published reports stated that the submitter was also the victim, and 24 percent stated that the victim was the child, spouse, parent, or other relative of the submitter. Also, most submitters provided their optional consent for CPSC to release their contact information to the manufacturer. Numeric information, such as a model number or serial number, can be helpful in identifying potentially unsafe products. However, this information is optional rather than required in a report of harm. Instead, submitters must only include a word or phrase sufficient to distinguish the product as one within CPSC’s jurisdiction. All manufacturers we spoke with considered the required information insufficient for identifying products in a report of harm. On August 12, 2011, a new law was signed containing a requirement for CPSC to attempt to obtain the model number or serial number, or a photograph of the product, from submitters who did not provide this information in a report of harm. To meet this requirement, CPSC must identify all reports of harm that do not contain either a model number or a serial number. However, CPSC does not currently analyze its data to identify reports of harm that contain this numeric information. Instead, its method of analysis combines numeric identifiers–model numbers or serial numbers–and less precise text entries, such as product descriptions or names. Furthermore, some submitters include model numbers and serial numbers in other database fields that CPSC does not include in its analysis. Unless CPSC strengthens its analytic methods to identify model numbers or serial numbers in a report of harm, it will likely not be able to identify all reports that require the agency to contact the submitter for more product information because it does not track all reports of harm missing such information. Prior to recent amendments to CPSIA, CPSC had 10 business days from its transmission of a report to the manufacturer in which to publish a report of harm (after the amendments, CPSC has up to 5 additional business days to publish a report when a claim of materially inaccurate information is made or when a report does not contain a model number or serial number). Most reports to which manufacturers responded that were published met the 10-day time frame. Of the 1,085 published reports of harm to which companies responded, 1,020 (94 percent) were published within 10 business days after CPSC notified the company that the report had been submitted. CPSC published 160 reports with claims of materially inaccurate information, and, of these reports, most were resolved and published within 10 business days. CPSC plans to conduct outreach to increase the number of manufacturers registered to receive electronic notifications to yield a more rapid response to its notifications. To effectively implement the recent amendments to CPSIA, GAO recommends that CPSC strengthen the analytic methods used to identify product information in a report of harm. CPSC agreed with GAO’s recommendation. The minority commissioners also raised a number of concerns about the accuracy and usefulness of the new database.


Is Your Business Registered with SaferProducts.gov?

Posted By: Bill Jacoby on October 11,2011

When problems become complaints:
In every potentially damaging customer service interaction, there is a pivotal point. And this point is not just the initial problem or incident reporting; it is the manufacturer’s or distributors reaction to the fraught interaction your customer experiences.Your employee’s response to the customers inquiry or complaint now needs to take into consideration the pace at which the angry customer now escalates the problem into a formal complaint on the safer products.gov website.

Take a look on the saferproducts.gov website and you will see several reports filed by consumers that were a result of not getting a satisfactory or timely response from the manufacturer. Some of them were not happy with the response given and others never even received a reply or call that was promised.Some of the reports submitted have the box checked No when asked if they plan to contact the manufacturer.

If you care about your brand equity and consumer confidence, you must register your business with Safer Products.gov so that you can be alerted when an incident is filed. Some of the key benefits of registration are:

  • Maximizes your time to review and respond to Reports before the 10-business day Report publication date.
  • Notification of Reports involving your products sent to you quickly and securely through e-mail.
  • Convenient and secure online account to provide comments on Reports and to communicate with CPSC.
  • Accounts can be set up with multiple users, with different permission settings for each user, to provide maximum flexibility.

Registration also provides you with a way to make a claim that a report contains materially inaccurate information . This information can be false and misleading and is so substantial as to affect a reasonable consumer’s decision making about your product. So if you care about your brand, take a look at your company’s incident reporting and escalation process and definitely  register your business so you can take a proactive approach when possible. You should always post a comment in response to a report. This is not  brand protection and compliance, just good business.

Bill Jacoby is the principal at Jacoby Solutions which has developed a CPSIA Operational Readiness Audit to help companies identify risk and improve their company’s business operations.

CPSC seeks feedback on manufacturer small batch testing

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is seeking feedback from small batch manufacturers about the feasibility of alternative product safety testing requirements.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) small-batch producers were required to meet the same third party testing requirements and certification as manufacturers of mass produced goods.

A so-called fix proposes that under certain circumstances, small-batch manufacturers – producing up to 7,500 similar units in a calendar year with gross revenues of up to $1m – may use alternative testing requirements.

If, however, the CPSC determines that no alternative testing requirement is available or economically practicable, it will exempt eligible small batch manufacturers from third party testing requirements.

A public hearing is scheduled for 26 October to receive views from all interested parties about whether such alternative testing requirements are available or economically practicable or, in the absence of economically practicable alternatives, whether an exemption from third party testing is appropriate.

Click here for Details and online registration for Public Hearing on October 26, 2011.

JPMA Issues Statement Regarding Proposed Crib Bumper Regulations in Maryland

September 27, 2011

JPMA, an association dedicated to promoting the safe selection and use of juvenile products, is urging the State of Maryland to adopt regulations consistent with the use of safe, traditional, non-pillow like crib bumper pads.

JPMA is also extremely concerned about the unintended consequences of regulations that restrict products specifically designed for crib use.

“It is very risky behavior to use makeshift bumper pads,” said Michael Dwyer, CAE Executive Director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. “Our fear is that the elimination of bumpers from the marketplace will encourage parents to use towels, adult blankets or pillows as a protective barrier from the hard wooden surface of the crib slats. Instead, the state of  Maryland should adopt safety regulations developed as a result of the ASTM standard setting process, and join JPMA in educating parents on the safe use of traditional bumper pads.”

JPMA continues to promote the need for information and education on safe sleep practices.  JPMA has provided an informational flyer on the safe use of traditional bumper pads which is available for download from www.cribsafety.org , JPMA’s website dedicated to communicating safe sleep practices.

JPMA also has ongoing concern for cities and states that are passing legislation that causes additional confusion for parents and caregivers and is urging Maryland to consider all scientific data on crib bumper pad use.

Properly designed crib bumper pads, when used correctly, can help prevent limb entrapment and head injuries. In 2011, JPMA commissioned a third party review of previous studies of crib bumper pads. Outcomes of the studies that were reviewed by Exponent, a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex technical problems, found that there were methodological problems that were apparent in the criteria used to select the incidents included for analysis and in the analytical treatment of other potential contributors.

“JPMA remains fully supportive of safe sleep education and standard development,” said Dwyer. “We are encouraging the state of Marylandto rely on the scientific data on crib bumper pads and adopt the ASTM standard in the state. We believe parents have a right to choose the products they use to care for their baby.”