FTC to host Care Labeling Rule roundtable

Care-LabelingThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a public round table to discuss proposed revisions to its Care Labeling Rule on October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach labels with care instructions for dry cleaning washing, bleaching, drying and ironing of garments and certain piece goods.

The round table will focus on the following:

  • a proposal to allow manufacturers and importers to include professional instructions for wet cleaning – an environmentally friendly alternative to dry cleaning – on labels if the garment can be professionally wet cleaned and on whether the FTC should require a wet cleaning instruction for such garments
  • discussion on the differences between the care symbols of ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), whether labels should identify ISO symbols as such if used to comply with the Rule, the change in the meaning of the circle P symbol in the ASTM system, and consumer understanding of symbols.
  • how to clarify what constitutes a reasonable basis for care instructions.

The round table will be held on October 1, 2013, from 9:15-3:45, in the FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Requests to participate as a panelist must be received by September 3,  2013. Written comments regarding the agenda topics, the issues discussed by the panelists at the round table, or the issues raised in comments received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking must be received by October 15, 2013.

Do you have questions about the Care Labeling Rule or need help with labeling  related issues regarding product or packaging?

Jacoby Solutions provides consulting services for compliance related issues.

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Only a few days left to comment – Proposed Rule On Certificates Of Compliance (16 C.F.R. 1110)

With the deadline for comments regarding the Proposed Rule On Certificates Of Compliance only 4 days away, you would think there would be more items posted on the website to date but surprisingly there have only been a few.

Three points of contention posted so far with the proposed rule changes to 16 CFR 1110 (Certificates of Compliance)

  1. The requirement to list on the certificate the place “including street address” where the product(s) were manufactured, produced or assembled. Commenters have objected based on the fact that by providing this information the identification of suppliers would be made public and open to competitors or even large customers to by-pass and go directly to these suppliers.
  2. The requirement that “a certifier shall list all applicable testing exclusions and include on the certificate the basis for the statutory or regulatory testing exclusion to such regulation.” Commenters have objected based on the burden to administer these exclusions on the certificate.  For example even though the CPSC has given guidance on the testing of certain components of a product from lead testing due to the material (unadulterated  wood, gold, silver, bone, textiles, etc.) of the component it would require that these exemptions be listed on the certificate.  Most test reports currently list exemptions from testing that apply to the product being tested; they are not currently being listed on the product certificates.  It is unclear at this point how extensive these “exemptions” must be.  For example, if you have a product evaluated for Toy Safety using the current ASTM F963 standard, there would be portions of the standard that would not apply to that product.  If it were not battery powered, the sections that apply to battery powered toys would not apply to the product and therefore it would be exempt by exclusion.  Would there be a need to include these types of exemptions?
  3. The requirement for certificates of imported products to be filed electronically with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the time of entry or entry summary.Commenters have objected based on the previous definition of electronic certificates under section 1110.9 which allows for the use of a unique identifier (URL) when referencing the certificate, as opposed to the certificate itself.  The feeling is that by requiring the filing of the certificate with CBP rather than providing a reference for it through a unique identifier (URL) would again cause additional administrative burdens.


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Environment Canada seeks information on phthalates for priority assessment

DuckyThe current Canadian regulation for phthalates as it applies to children’s products is SOR/2010-298.  The regulation covers phthalates DEHP, DBP and BBP in the vinyl components of a toy or child care article not to exceed 1,000 mg/kg or 1,000 ppm (0.1% by weight) and phthalates DINP, DIDP and DNOP in the vinyl components of a toy or child care article that in a “reasonably foreseeable manner, be placed in the mouth of a child under four years of age” not to exceed 1,000 mg/kg or 1,000 ppm (0.1% by weight).

The requirement of this regulation is very similar to the one in the U.S. under the CPSIA which covers both toys and child care articles.

On July 13, 2013, Environment Canada issued a notice to manufacturers and importers directing them to provide information about their use of phthalates in food and beverage contact materials along with other consumer products.  Through this notice the government has listed more than 30 phthalate substances which will undergo priority assessment through its Chemicals Management Plan.  Environment Canada has asked for details about the manufacture, importation and use of the substances “for the purposes of assessing whether [they] are toxic or capable of becoming toxic, or for the purpose of assessing whether to control [them].”

As a U.S. based manufacturer or distributor to the Canadian market, your Canadian based importer will likely make inquiries of your product if “during the 2012 calendar year, [they] imported a total quantity greater than 100 kg [220 lbs.] of a substance listed in Schedule 1 of this notice, at a concentration equal to  or above 0.001% by weight (w/w%) [10 ppm]”

The key for children’s products manufacturers and distributors;

(b) in a manufactured item that is

(i) intended to be used by or for children under the age of six years, or (ii) intended to come into contact with the mucosa of an individual, other than eyes, or (vi) clothing or footwear, or (vii) furniture intended to be used in a residence, or a furnishing intended to be used in a residence if the substance is contained in a textile

If you know or might know that your products fall within this range you and your importer would have to respond to this notice by November 13, 2013.  Failure to submit the required information would subject companies to fines and/or jail terms under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Proposed changes to Prop. 65 warnings focus of upcoming OEHHA workshop

A public pre-regulatory workshop has been scheduled for July 30, 2013 by California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to discuss “the content of a regulation that would address Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) warnings”.  If adopted as proposed it would either supplement or replace existing OEHHA regulations governing Proposition 65 warnings and conform to any statutory changes enacted.  California Governor Jerry Brown as indicated his intent to amend the law this year.

The OEHHA is considering the following changes; (a) requiring information in all warnings of the health effects which the chemical listed, how a person will be exposed and “simple information such as washing hands” on how to avoid or reduce exposure, (b) means to provide additional information concerning exposure to the chemical(s) listed through a website or other generally accessible medium.


Example of Label that would satisfy the proposed changes

Warning: Using this product will expose you to lead, a chemical known to cause cancer, birth defects and other harm to a developing baby. Wash hands after touching this product.

For more information go to: www.oehha.ca.gov/warnings


CPSC Issues Rule on Exemptions to Lead Limits in Children’s Products

On July 10, 2013, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No CPSC-2009-0004] to amend its existing regulations pertaining to procedures and requirements for exclusions from lead limits under section 101(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

The CPSIA provides a “functional purpose” exemption from the lead limits of Section 101 (or lead in substrate material) of 100 ppm.  This functional purpose exemption can apply to a specific product, class of products, type of material or component part.

To qualify for this functional purpose exemption the product, class of product, material or component part would have to require lead in excess of 100 ppm because it would not be practicable or technologically feasible to manufacture the product without lead in excess of the limit.

Exemptions can be issued based on how likely the product, class of product, material or component part could either be placed in the mouth, ingested or will have no measurable adverse effect on public heath, taking into consideration “normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse”.

If a party seeks exemption under this rule, they bear the “burden of proof” in demonstrating that product, class of product, material or component part meets the requirement of the exemption.  The CPSC may base its decision solely on the materials presented by the party seeking the exemption and any materials received through the notice and hearing.

If an exemption is sought for the entire product or class of products then every accessible component or material must meet the criteria of the functional purpose exception.

If the CPSC grants an exemption for a product, class of products, material or component part they may; establish a new lead limit, place an expiration date on the exemption or establish a schedule after which the manufacture of the product, class of product, material or component part would be in compliance with existing lead limits.

The CPSC anticipates providing the public with staff guidance on the applicable procedures for requesting an exemption, which will be made available on the CPSC website. The effective date of this rule is July 10, 2013.