February 9, 2009

CPSC publishes "manufacturer/importer" guide for CPSIA

The CPSC booklet (just issued on the night before the Feb. 10. 2009 ban goes into effect) is in a question and answer format. There is some useful information in this book. Most importantly are the following two pronouncements of "enforcement " policy. The issue on question 18 had not been addressed squarely by the CPSC until this publication as far we know:

Question 11: What products are covered by the prohibition on the use of phthalates?
Three phthalates, DEHP, DBP, and BBP, have been permanently banned in concentrations of more than 0.1% in “children’s toys” or “child care articles.”

A “children’s toy” is a product intended for a child 12 years of age or younger for use when playing. General use balls, bath toys/bath books, dolls and inflatable pool toys are examples of toys that are covered by the law and might contain phthalates. Bikes, playground equipment, musical instruments, and sporting goods (except for their toy counterparts) are not considered toys and therefore not affected by the ban. (swhlaw: This "toy" rationale does not apply to the lead ban from what we read)

Question 18: Do bikes that are not intended primarily for children 12 and under need to comply with the lead limits?

No. The lead limits in the CPSIA only apply to products intended or designed primarily for children 12 and under. The lead limits apply only to those bikes which by nature of their size, design or other similar factors indicate that they are intended or designed primarily for children. Thus, a bike with a 24” wheel size or smaller would generally be considered a children’s bike and would need to comply.

Then there is the classic catch 22 line:

Question 7: When testing and certification are not yet required (for example, lead content and phthalates), what do I need to do?

For these standards, no third‐party testing or certificate is needed before February 10, 2010; however, manufacturers must still ensure their products meet the requirements of the law. (swhlaw: But of course you will have no way of knowing that you meet the requirements unless you test. Great)

And then the final parting shot:

Question 19: What happens if I sell a product in violation of the CPSIA or other applicable laws?

The Commission’s response to a violation of the law varies depending upon the circumstances, including the nature of the product defect, the number of products, the severity of the risk of injury associated with the product and the type of violation. The Commission’s goal is to help you to avoid future violations and protect your customers, not to put you out of business.

Law Offices of Steven W. Hansen | www.swhlaw.com | 562 866 6228
© Copyright 1996-2008 Conditions of Use