Children’s toys manufactured or imported after June 12, 2012, must comply with all mandatory sections of the recently revised ASTM F963-11. Manufacturers and importers should continue using a CPSC-accepted third party laboratory for the sections of ASTM F963-08 that did not change in ASTM F963-11.
However, for new or revised sections of ASTM F963-11 that are not “functionally equivalent” to the -08, version, manufacturers and importers are not yet required to use a CPSC-accepted third party testing laboratory until the Commission approves a revised Notice of Requirements. As of May 1, 2012, that proposed Notice of Requirements (pdf) is pending, but not yet approved as a final rule, by the Commission.
In the event that a manufacturer or importer wishes to have its products tested now – in the hope that testing to the -11 version eventually will be accepted by the CPSC – that manufacturer or importer should check with its current CPSC-accepted laboratory to see if they will be applying to the CPSC for acceptance of the -11 version. If so, and if the lab satisfies other conditions spelled out in the draft document , then the Commission likely will accept that testing upon its approval of the new Notice of Requirements. (This is not a guarantee of the Commission’s action, but the Commission traditionally has permitted acceptance of such testing, provided that all the other conditions are satisfied.)
The additional requirements in the draft document (pdf) are as follows:
- The test results show compliance with the nonequivalent section(s) of ASTM F 963-11.
- The children’s product was tested on or after February 22, 2012, and before the effective date of 16 CFR part 1112.
- The third party conformity assessment body’s accreditation remains in effect through the effective date of 16 CFR part 1112.
- The third party conformity assessment body’s application for acceptance of its accreditation is accepted by the CPSC on or after May 24, 2012 and before the effective date for 16 CFR part 1112.
- The children’s product was tested by a third party conformity assessment body accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 by a signatory to the ILAC-MRA at the time of the test. The scope of the third party conformity assessment body accreditation must include the tests contained in the applicable nonequivalent sections of ASTM F 963-11.
- For firewalled third party conformity assessment bodies, the firewalled third party conformity assessment body must be one that the Commission, by order, has accredited, on or before the time that the children’s product was tested, even if the order did not include the nonequivalent tests contained in ASTM F 963-11.
- For governmental third party conformity assessment bodies, the governmental third party conformity assessment body must be one whose accreditation was accepted by the Commission, even if the scope of accreditation did not include the tests for the nonequivalent tests contained in ASTM F 963-11.
When companies learn of a dangerous product flaw, they have a duty to alert the authorities. Yet, there was a startling rise in the number of firms that tried to dodge this responsibility in 2011.
April 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — Every day, you rely on thousands of manufactured products. From the brakes on your car to the bed you sleep in, somewhere down the line a company had to design, construct and test the items that fulfill your basic needs.
Although most products are safe, sometimes hazardous items slip through the cracks and enter the stream of commerce. Defective products are responsible for thousands of injuries every year.
When a company finds out that one of its products presents a danger, they are required to take measures to protect the public. Yet, the latest numbers show that companies are becoming increasingly tightlipped about big product defects.
Defective Product Reporting Requirements
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the federal agency responsible for publicizing information on recalled products. Under the terms of the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers are all required to report potentially hazardous products to the CPSC once they become privy to information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product:
– Fails to meet a consumer product safety rule, standard or ban;
– Contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard; or,
– Creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death
Information that can give rise to reporting responsibility arises in many ways, from internal quality control data to customer complaints. Generally, companies must make a report to the CPSC within 24 hours of the receipt of such information.
Reporting Failures Increased Fivefold In the Span of a Year
The CPSC is empowered to levy fines against companies that fail to file a timely report regarding a product defect. In 2010, the CPSC used this power against only two companies for a combined penalty of just over half a million dollars.
In 2011, however, the number of companies penalized for their sluggish response to product defects skyrocketed to ten. This time, the total annual fines topped the $4 million mark.
A Lawyer Can Help You Hold Negligent Manufacturers Responsible
The disturbing trend towards more defective product cover-ups is bad news for consumers. But, CPSC fines are not the only way to combat marketers of dangerous items. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product due to a design flaw, a fault in the manufacturing process or a failure to provide adequate warnings about known dangers, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Call a defective products lawyer to learn more about your right to compensation from makers of unsafe products.
Article provided by The Kreeger Law Firm
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2012
|CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: Carl Purvis, (301) 504-7805
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Investigators with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prevented more than half a million violative and hazardous imported products from reaching the hands of consumers in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.
Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, CPSC port investigators successfully identified consumer products that were in violation of U.S. safety rules or found to be unsafe. CPSC and CBP teamed up to screen more than 2,900 imported shipments at ports of entry into the United States. As applicable, these screenings involved use and abuse testing or the use of an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. Their efforts prevented more than 647,000 units of about 240 different noncomplying products from reaching consumers, between October 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.
Topping the list of products stopped were children’s products containing levels of lead exceeding the federal limits, toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard for children younger than 3 years old, and toys and child care articles with banned phthalates.
In addition to violative toys and other children’s products, items stopped at import included defective and dangerous hair dryers, lamps and holiday lights.
“We mean business when it comes to enforcing some of the toughest requirements for children’s products in the world. If an imported product fails to comply with our safety rules, then we work to stop it from coming into the United States,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Safer products at the ports means safer products in your home.”
During fiscal year 2011, CPSC inspected more than 9,900 product shipments at the ports nationwide and stopped almost 4.5 million units of violative or hazardous consumer products from entering the stores and homes of U.S. consumers.
CPSC has been screening products at ports since it began operating in 1973. In 2008, the agency intensified its efforts with the creation of an import surveillance division.
Yesterday was the last full day of the 2012 ICPHSO Annual Meeting and Training Symposium.
The day featured a keynote by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Inez Moore Tenenbaum (pictured delivering the keynote)
- CPSC is being proactive at ports. In 2010 & 2011, 6.5M units of over 2,000 products were seized.
- Independent 3rd party testing is set up and running well.
- A strong CPSC is good for business – it provides a more level playing field.
- Standards development, recalls process, and federal rulemaking will be priorities in 2012.
- Successful Saferproducts.gov public database will have one year anniversary on March 11. It has had 6,300 unsafe product reports.
Penalties and Enforcement
Also featured was a panel on Penalties and Enforcement, featuring Cheryl Falvey, U.S. CPSC General Counsel. Some of the points made there:
In August 2009, the maximum penalty went from $1.8M to $15M.
If the duty to report occurred in 2008 but was not reported until 2010, the violation occurred in the higher penalty period.
A failure to report and the deliberate subsequent sale of recalled product doubles the maximum penalty to $30M.
There has been less self-reporting and more anticipated litigation since the penalty increase.
There is no formula to calculating a penalty. Statutory factors include:
- Extent and gravity of the violation
Other factors include:
- Safety/compliance program
- History of noncompliance
- Economic gain for noncompliance
- Failure to respond timely to staff requests
Every settlement is subject to approval by CPSC commissioners. Then it is listed in the Federal Register for public comment.
The CPSC is looking for a case that makes a statement. “This has a deterrent effect,” says Falvey.
Individuals are now being pursued for felony criminal penalties. This often happens with Subchapter S corporations, where the individual is virtually the same as the corporation.
The CPSC can be creative. E&B Giftware was given a $550,000 civil penalty, with all but $50,000 suspended if they met requirements of the settlement.
The whistleblower provision in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 has only been used once. Calls are more likely to be a trade complaint from a competitor.
Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 22, 2012 / Rules and Regulation
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
16 CFR Chapter II
Acceptance of ASTM F963–11 as a Mandatory Consumer Product Safety Standard
AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.
ACTION: Acceptance of standard.
SUMMARY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (‘‘CPSC,’’ Commission,’’ or ‘we’’) is announcing that we have accepted the revised ASTM F963–11
standard titled, Standard Consumer Safety Specifications for Toy Safety. Pursuant to section 106 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of
2008, ASTM F963–11 will become a mandatory consumer product safety standard effective June 12, 2012.
DATES: ASTM F963–11 will become effective on June 12, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jonathan Midgett, Ph.D., Office of
Hazard Identification and Reduction,
U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission, 4330 East West Highway,
Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814;
telephone (301) 504–7692; email
Dated: February 15, 2012.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety
[FR Doc. 2012–3990 Filed 2–21–12; 8:45 am]
There has been a lot of confusion on what information needs to be included in a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC). While the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has not given any guidance on the format of a CPC they have given detailed instructions on the type of information which needs to be included in a CPC (Final Rule, 16 CFR Part 1110, Certificates of Compliance dated November 18, 2008).
There are seven (7) major areas of information which at a minimum must be on each CPC and they include;
1. Identification of the product covered by this certificate:
The information provided here must be more than just the common name of the product as it is known by the consumer or retailer. It must contain model, item or SKU number to uniquely identify the product from other products manufactured or imported by the issuer of the certificate. The CPSC has allowed for “family” of products to be listed on the certificate where the testing has been the same or when the issuer is citing one laboratory report to show compliance for the whole family of products as for an example; the issuer had a stuffed bear that was in a variety of fabric colors and each color was a different item or SKU number and the testing was the same for each item or SKU number then one certificate could be issued for the family of bear products.
2. Citation to each CPSC product safety regulation to which this product is being certified:
Each CPSC product safety regulation must be listed which builds the case for compliance of the product. The safety regulation must be identified so that there might not be any confusion as to what the safety regulation is. As for example; if the product was tested for small parts then the safety regulation would be cited as, ASTM F963-08 (or most current version) Section 4.6 Small Parts.
3. Identification of the U.S. importer or domestic manufacturer certifying compliance of the product:
The information provided here MUST be the company name, full mailing address and telephone number of the manufacturer or importer of record certifying the product.
4. Contact information for the individual maintaining records of test results:
The information provided here MUST be the company name, full mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number of the person maintain test records for the company in support of the certification of the product.
5. Date and place where this product was manufactured:
The information provided can be the date or dates when the product was manufactured using at least a month and year format (MM/YYYY). The place of manufacture needs to be identified as well with AT LEAST the city and country or administrative region of the place where the product was finally manufactured or assembled. If the factory that produced the product has more than one location in the city listed then the street address of the factory will be used to further identify the place of manufacture.
6. Date and place where this product was tested for compliance with the regulation(s) cited above:
Information provided here must be the date or dates of the testing on the test reports, the report numbers and the location or locations of testing.
7. Identification of any third-party laboratory on whose testing the certificate depends:
The third-party laboratory which tested the product for conformity must be listed with AT LEAST their name, full mailing address and telephone number of the laboratory.
At the recent Toy Fair conference, Neil Cohen, Small Business Ombudsman of the CPSC announced that companies can use the same certificate and add Production Run / Tracking label information to it for each production run in the testing calendar year as long as there is no material change in that batch or run. This will give companies the option of consolidating certificates under each product. As more information regarding this practice becomes available, I will share it on this site.
Remember that the issuance of Children’s Product Certificates is the responsibility of the manufacturer and it is their duty to provide access to these reports with each sale to retailers. CPC’s are not required when selling directly to consumers.
Bill Jacoby is the principal at Jacoby Solutions which has developed a CPSIA Operational Readiness CORE Audit to help companies identify risk and improve their company’s business operations.
FYI – Important if you are a Manufacturer of Children’s Products.
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 take the following factors into consideration:
- A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such a 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 a 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 CPSC staff in September 2002, and any successor to such guidelines
If you qualify and if you are a manufacturer of children’s products and produce in small batches, it is critical that you register for a small batch exemption if your sales are less than 1 million dollars from the previous calendar year or you have manufactured less than 7,500 qualifying (children’s products) units. Registering for an exemption will exempt you from third party testing requirements under CPSIA. Most apparel products were granted broad exemptions already but this will help you in the event your items include non-exempt components. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is just a testing exemption, you are still required to comply with standards defined under the CPSIA law.
HOW TO REGISTER
This is a two step process. Part one is to register your business which will get you an account user ID if you don’t already have one. It is pretty straightforward.
After you request the business ID, you’ll get an email saying that the CPSC is overwhelmed with applicants but they’ve got you in the queue and will get back to you as soon as they can. This may take up to 12 hours, maybe more. Once they get back to you, you will need to confirm the registration by activating your account by creating a password. You may hit a snag at this point if you’re using the wrong username -say, your company name. The username was created at sign up and consists of your first and last name. Once you’ve activated your account, you can sign up as a small batch manufacturer. This is also fairly straightforward.
As a qualifying small batch manufacturer, you will need to register with the CPSC on an annual basis. You will still need to issue a certificate (CPC/GCC), however you will not need to conduct third -party testing for either lead or phthalate content. Additionally, your products must still meet both the lead and phthalate content limits.
You can visit the CPSC page for more information. Ignorance of the law is no excuse so please register today.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec 23, 2011, CPSC is launching an easy-to-use registry for small batch manufacturers, which can be found at www.SaferProducts.gov. Congress directed CPSC to establish this registry for small batch manufacturers in Public Law 112-28, which was signed into law by President Obama on August 12, 2011.
Small batch manufacturers, defined as those who earned $1 million or less in total gross revenues from sales of consumer products in 2011, and who produced in total no more than 7,500 units of at least one consumer product in 2011 can register for calendar year 2012 at www.SaferProducts.gov. Qualifying small batch manufacturers are not required to third party test for compliance with certain children’s product safety rules during 2012 for products which they produced no more than 7,500 units of in the previous calendar year.
This new registry does not exempt small batch manufacturers from ensuring that their products comply with these mandatory standards. Small batch manufacturers must still provide a certificate of conformity, in which the manufacturers certify in writing that their products comply with the applicable regulations. However, except where required by law, the certificate does not have to be based on third party testing.
Effective December 31, 2011, the stays of enforcement on third-party testing and certification for limits on total lead content for children’s products, the ban on certain phthalates for children’s toys and child care articles, and the mandatory toy standard (ASTM F963) will end. CPSC launched an education and outreach effort to ensure widespread awareness of the new federal requirements and has also provided assistance and guidance to small batch manufacturers to help them understand these new requirements.
For additional information on the Small Batch Manufacturers Registry and small batch guidance materials, please see www.cpsc.gov/smallbatch. You may also contact our small business ombudsman Neal Cohen at email@example.com or through www.cpsc.gov/sbo
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go tohttps://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
Agency standards designed to prevent burn injuries to children
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an effort to remind the industry of their obligations associated with children’s sleepwear and loungewear, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) Director of Compliance and Field Operations sent a letter(pdf) to manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers today reinforcing CPSC staff’s enforcement policy on children’s sleepwear and loungewear.
Highlights in the letter to industry review the definition of children’s sleepwear including loungewear as a type of children’s sleepwear. The Commission’s regulations define the term “children’s sleepwear” to include any product of wearing apparel (in sizes 0–14), such as nightgowns, pajamas, or similar or related items, such as robes, intended to be worn primarily for sleeping or activities related to sleeping. This definition exempts: (1) diapers and underwear; (2) “infant garments,” sized for a child nine months of age or younger; and (3) “tight-fitting garments” that meet specific maximum dimensions.
In the 1990s, a category of products called “loungewear” was introduced into the children’s market. CPSC staff views children’s “loungewear,” or other similar garments marketed as comfort wear, as garments worn primarily for sleep-related activities. Therefore, “loungewear” must comply with the children’s sleepwear standards.
The letter includes a summary of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requirements for manufacturers and importers of children’s sleepwear sold online or in stores. These requirements include tracking labels, a certificate of compliance and testing requirements for phthalates, lead content and lead in surface coatings on snaps, zipper pulls and elsewhere on the product.
The CPSC is the federal safety agency responsible for the enforcement of the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), which includes protecting the public from the hazards of flammable fabrics, interior furnishings and wearing apparel, including children’s sleepwear.
The children’s sleepwear standards were developed to prevent children’s sleepwear from igniting due to exposure to ignition sources, such as matches/lighters, candles, ranges, stoves, space heaters and fireplaces. Most of the ignition incidents occurred while children were wearing sleepwear or sleep-related items during the evening before bedtime or in the morning around breakfast time.
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission