Louisville — I attended the opening session with about 70 industry members gathered in a meeting room on Saturday at the ABC Expo to hear an open talk from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Small Business Ombudsman, Neal Cohen, who outlined the recent and upcoming regulatory changes to our industry as a result of the recently passed law H.R. 2715.
H.R. 2715 is designed to address some of the original content in the Consumer Product Safety Information Act of 2008, including details on lead limits, phthalates, third-party testing and small batch manufacturers.
“It was a very compromised bill – I don’t think anyone was thrilled with it on either side,” said Cohen.
Cohen explained that the conversation is very much in process about how to reduce third party testing costs for manufacturers, and the CPSC is seeking public comment on the issue.
“We need data, data, data, and we need industry knowledge as well,” he said.
Cohen urged industry members to be aware of several upcoming key dates, and reminded audience members that even if they can’t be in Washington, sessions are webcast.
September 28th there is a Commission meeting debating the testing and certification rules.
“If you’re manufacturing products, you need to be familiar with it,” said Cohen.
October 6th there is a round table even with industry to talk about lead and phthalates.
October 26th there is a hearing on alternative testing for small batch manufacturers.
And January 1, 2012 is the date when enforced testing and certification begins; for lead testing, it will be for products manufactured after August 14, 2011, and for phthalates it will be for products manufactured after December 31, 2011.
“(The CPSIA) fundamentally changed the landscape of this industry,” said Cohen. “But at the end of the day, we enforce the laws given to us by Congress.”