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CHILDREN'S PRODUCT DEFINITION

CPSIA

CPSIA-homeTesting and CertificationPre-CPSIA RequirementsThird-Party TestingTracking LabelsLead LimitsPhthalate LimitsOther Toy Requirements

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What is CPSIA?

 

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) was signed into law in August 2008.  Congress passed the law in response to public concern about the safety of consumer products—particularly children’s products—which grew after several high profile recalls of toys and other products manufactured in China.  The CPSIA is the most significant revision to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) since its inception in the early 1970s.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) implements consumer product laws in the U.S., which apply to U.S. entities.

The CPSIA includes provisions related to lead, phthalates, recalls and product tracking, testing and certification of consumer product safety rules and standards, toy advertising, a public database of deaths and injuries caused by consumer products, penalties for violations, whistleblower protections, and other issues.   Non-compliance with the statute or its implementing regulations has the potential to result in huge product liability problems, including civil penalties, recalls, and encouragement for lawsuits.

Requirements are still in place under the original CPSA and related laws (e.g., the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), and Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA)).  The CPSIA added testing and certification requirements to strengthen implementation of some of the standards and requirements under these earlier laws.

Manufacturers (which include importers) need to fully understand how any CPSC requirements apply to their products.  Suppliers of components of consumer products also need to understand the CPSC laws and what responsibilities they may have.  Even if a supplier is not directly subject to a requirement, they may be affected when a customer requests information that the customer deems necessary for their own compliance.

Congress included aggressive implementation dates in the CPSIA, and the CPSC was not adequately staffed to implement the legislation.  This has resulted in much confusion including multiple and inadequate drafts of policies and memos, delays in translating legislative requirements into rulemaking, lack of clarity on effective dates, and multiple and serial stays of enforcement.

Government information on consumer product safety topics, including the CPSIA, is available on the CPSC Website.