Undue Influence – Establishing Your Company’s Policy

December 8, 2011 by Bill Jacoby

CPSIA Testing, Labeling and Certification – Part 4

In 2012 companies will quickly have to deal with the final ruling issued by the CPSC under 16 CFR 1107 as mandated by the CPSIA Section 102.  In this new ruling the CPSC has outlined standards for manufacturers/importers to show compliance with existing safety rules, bans and standards for the products they produce.  The rule can be broken out into five (5) major areas; the types and frequency of testing, what constitutes a material change in a product, the requirements and procedures and training for an undue influence program,  general recordkeeping requirements and label requirements for products complying with consumer safely rules under the CPSA.

In the fourth part of this article we will look at the requirements for manufacturers/importers under the Undue Influence part of the rule.

Undue Influence

Each domestic manufacturer or the importer of a children’s product must establish procedures to safeguard against the exercise of undue influence on a CPSC accredited laboratory that could undermine the integrity of laboratory test data.  While the importer is not directly responsible for the training of employees of foreign manufacturers on this matter, it does not absolve the importer of its duty to exercise due care when relying on test reports provided by the manufacturer from a CPSC accredited laboratory.  The importer who issues a General Certificate of Conformity on a product that is based on test reports from a CPSC accredited laboratory over whom undue influence has been exercised provides a basis for the CPSC to deem the certificate invalid.  The CPSC will hold the final product certifier (manufacturer/importer) responsible for exercising due care that component part or finished product manufacturers or suppliers have not exercised undue influence over CPSC certified laboratories.

At a minimum these procedures must include;

  • Training for every appropriate staff member on the safeguards by the manufacturer/importer designed to prevent undue influence on CPSC accredited laboratories along with a signed training statement from each staff member
  • Written policy statement from company officials that the exercise of undue influence is not acceptable
  • Procedure for retraining based on any substantive changes to § 1107.24
  • Procedure to notify the CPSC immediately of any attempt by the manufacturer/importer to hide or exert undue influence over test results
  • Procedure/mechanism for employees of the manufacturer/importer to report confidentially to the CPSC any allegations of undue influence

2012 is weeks away …. is your company ready? Need help in deciphering the law as it pertains to you? Jacoby Solutions can review your company policies and include an Undue Influence component 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!

Bill Jacoby is the founder principal at Jacoby Solutions and developed the CORE Audit (Compliance Operations Readiness Engagement Audit), the company’s proprietary approach to business operations readiness A one-stop shop for manufacturing and distribution companies in need of a solutions partner who can help them evolve their business while keeping an eye on compliance, Jacoby Solutions saves companies time, money and resources while helping them become CPSIA ready.