CPSC Extends the Stay of Enforcement for Many Children's Products
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (5-0) to extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification of many regulated children's products. While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules and bans.
Categories of children's products to remain covered by the stay of enforcement include: children's toys and child care articles with banned phthalates, children's toys subject to ASTM's F-963 toy safety standard, caps and toy guns, clacker balls, baby walkers, bath seats, other durable infant products, electrically-operated toys, youth all-terrain vehicles, youth mattresses, children's bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film, and children's sleepwear.
The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for these children's products while CPSC continues to work toward recognizing labs. Independent third party testing and certification will only be required for these categories of children's products 90 days after CPSC publishes the laboratory accreditation requirements for any individual category in the Federal Register.
Additionally, CPSC voted 4-1 to extend the stay on certification and third party testing for children's products subject to lead content limits until Feb. 10, 2011. Under this decision, products must still meet the 300 ppm lead limit now, but certification and third party testing to show compliance will be required for all children's products manufactured after Feb. 10, 2011. A children's product is one that is primarily intended for children 12 and younger.
The stay will end on Feb. 10, 2010 for four children's products: bicycle helmets, bunk beds, infant rattles, and dive sticks. These children's products, manufactured after Feb. 10, 2010, will be required to have certification based on independent third party testing. The testing must be conducted by a laboratory recognized by CPSC.
Unchanged is the current independent third party testing and certification required for all children’s products subject to the following consumer product safety rules:
- The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings
- The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers
- The ban on small parts
- The limits on lead content of metal components of children's jewelry
Under CPSIA, different rules apply to non-children's products. Domestic manufacturers and importers are not required to test non-children's products using an independent third party lab. However, they must certify that non-children's products comply with applicable CPSC regulations by issuing a general certificate of conformity (GCC) based on a reasonable testing program.
GCC will be required for some non-children's products manufactured after Feb. 10, 2010. These products include: architectural glazing materials, ATVs, adult bunk beds, candles with metal wicks, CB antennas, contact adhesives, cigarette lighters, multi-purpose lighters, matchbooks, garage door openers, portable gas containers, lawn mowers, mattresses, unstable refuse bins, refrigerator door latches, swimming pool slides, products subject to regulations under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), paint, and household furniture subject to lead paint regulations.
CPSC has decided not to require GCCs for children's products. The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for certain categories of non-children's products including adult bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film, and wearing apparel. General certificates of conformity are currently required for pool drain covers.
Additionally, products that require labeling under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) or labeling rules will not require additional certification to those regulations.
Component Testing Adds Flexibility to Compliance
Significant to domestic manufacturers, crafters and U.S. importers, CPSC has also voted unanimously (5-0) to adopt an interim enforcement policy allowing component part testing. Under this policy, domestic manufacturers and importers now have a choice in certifying their products. As before, they can send samples of the entire children's product out for independent third party testing. Now they can certify their products as meeting lead paint and lead content limits in the following ways:
Lead in Paint
- Have test reports from recognized independent third party testing labs showing that each paint on the product complies with the 90 ppm lead paint limit, or
- have certificates from paint suppliers declaring that all their paint on the product complies with the 90 ppm lead limit based on testing by recognized independent third party testing laboratories.
- Have test reports from recognized independent third-party testing labs showing that each of the accessible component parts on the product complies with the 300 ppm lead limit, or
- have certificates from part suppliers declaring that all accessible component parts on the product comply with the 300 ppm lead limit based on testing by recognized independent third party testing laboratories.
Most fasteners, such as buttons, zippers, and screws, sold by themselves are not considered children's products and would not have to comply with the lead limits or be certified. However, the same fasteners must meet the lead limits if they are used on a children's product. Voluntary certification by suppliers of component parts would make them more beneficial to manufacturers who use them in children's products.