Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CPSC Delays Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for One Year

The enforcement of testing and certification requirements for children's products that was to go into effect February 10, 2009, has now been extended to February 10, 2010. Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvment Act (CPSIA), manufacturers and importers of products for children under the age of 12 are required to be tested and certified to meet certain standards (600 ppm for lead content limits and 1,000 phthalates limits for certain products). The delayed enforcement, however, does not apply to the:

  • Ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings effective for products made after December 21, 2008;
  • Standards for scribs and pacifiers effective for products made after January 20, 2009;
  • Ban on small parts effective for products made after February 15, 2009;
  • Limits on lead content of children's jewelry effective for products made after March 23, 2009;
  • Certification requirements applicable to ATVs manufactured after April 13, 2009;
  • Testing and certification requirements for items before the enactment of the CPSIA (e.g., lawnmowers, lighters, swimming pool slides); and
  • Pool drain cover requirements under the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

While the one-year stay will allow small business owners and other children's toy makers some breathing room, they are still required to ensure their products conform to all safety standards and requirements. Items such as zippers, buttoners, fasteners, and plastic components must still be verified to ensure they do not contain lead or phthalates, and if they do, that they fall within the required thresholds.

While the swiftness with which the CPSIA was enacted should be applauded, there are still many far-reaching and unintended consequences that the Commission still needs to address, including the impact to family-owned businesses, first and second hand stores, and other small business owners who are most affected by the Act. Hopefully during this one-year stay, the Commission will be able to address these concerns and issue guidelines to that effect.