December 19,2011 by Bill Jacoby
Three different situations that would call for third-party testing under final ruling 16 CFR 1107.
There are three basics instances that would require manufacturers/importers of children’s products to conduct independent third-party testing of their product.
- “Initial” Third-Party Tests: Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) there is a requirement that prior to new children’s products being placed into the marketplace they would be tested by an independent third-party for compliance of all safety regulations that would apply to it. This is generally referred to as “initial” third-party testing.
- Third-Party Tests for “Material Changes”: After initial introduction of the product into the marketplace there could occur some changes to the product that might not be noticeable to a consumer but significant enough to affect a product’s ability to comply with all of the applicable safety regulations that it was originally certified under. Under the CPSIA these are called “material changes”. Some changes might be enough to be noticed by the consumer – a product that was originally made from metal is now made from plastic. Other changes might be more subtle – the red paint that a product is painted with was sourced from Supplier A is now sourced from Supplier B. Both cases are classified as “material changes” and under the CPSIA require independent third party testing to show the product still complies with all of the applicable safety regulations.
- Periodic Third-Party Tests: The law recognizes that there are children’s products that might not undergo a material change for years. However it was not the intention of the law to allow those products to continue to enter the marketplace based on a single series of third-party tests done years before. To ensure compliance the CPSIA requires that children’s products be third-party tested from time-to-time. This ongoing testing is called “periodic testing”. The interval between this “periodic testing” can be defined by three methods a manufacturer/importer of record can choose; “periodic test plan”, “production test plan” or “ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E)”.
The gravity of testing and certification of children’s products can be underscored by a recent remark to more than 30 representatives of the toy industry at a recent Capitol Hill meeting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Commissioner Nancy Nord acknowledged to the group that the January 1, 2012 enforcement date for CPSIA regulations will bring a change to the industry. All Stays of Enforcement will have expired and the CPSC will be more diligent in its review of toys at ports of entry and failure to comply with third party testing regulations will result in the holding up of the shipment and fines of up to $100,000.
2012 is weeks away …. is your company ready? Need help in deciphering the law as it pertains to you? Jacoby Solutions can review your Testing and Labeling process to make sure it contains all the elements as outlined under 1107 including record keeping. We also can provide services for Sourcing/Project Management testing for any new products you have in development or act as a liaison between you and your factory. Contact us today and see how we can save you money!