CPSC Clarifies Conformity Certification Requirements

Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a final rule (pdf) by unanimous vote, addressing the conformity certification required for consumer products subject to safety rules under the commission's jurisdiction.

CPSC addressed three major issues: 1) who should supply the certificate; 2) how the certificate can be filed; and 3) CPSC enforcement of general certification.

First, the certification process will now be streamlined, by limiting the number of parties who must issue conformity certifications unless a preexisting CPSC product standard requires otherwise. CPSC determined that for imported products, only the importer needs to issue the conformity certificate.

Foreign manufacturers and private labelers of imported products do not need to issue certificates, and they do not need to be listed as parties on certificates. For products manufactured in the United States, only the domestic manufacturer needs to issue the certificate. Private labelers do not need to issue certificates, and do not need to be listed as parties on certificates.

Second, the rule confirms that electronic means can be used to meet the certification requirement in the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 and that conformity certifications can accompany the product and be furnished to distributors and retailers by a variety of electronic means. Electronic certificates can also be posted on a Web site for inspection or included with other electronic documents accompanying shipments through U.S. Customs Service, so long as the certificates can be produced immediately for inspection.

Finally, CPSC intends to focus its enforcement efforts on a product's compliance with its safety requirements. While the commission recognizes that every company is expected to make its best efforts to comply promptly with the new certificate requirements, the agency intends initially to focus more on compliance with the safety rules underlying the certificate, rather than on the certificate or form of the certificate itself.

For addition information, go to www.cpsc.gov.

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