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Update: CPSC Issues Stay of Enforcement for Lead Testing
Posted in Litigation

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a stay of enforcement of testing and certification requirements for the total lead content in children’s products until December 31, 2011.  The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act required affected manufacturers to certify, based on testing, that their products (except for metal components of children’s metal jewelry) complied with the applicable safety regulations. The Act also required that the products be certified by an accepted third party conformity assessment body.  Now, this testing and certification requirement will go into effect on December 31, 2011. 

The CPSC also emphasized that the stay does not relieve anyone from complying with the underlying lead content regulations.  Currently, companies must comply with the underlying 300 parts per million lead-content limits, although this limit will drop to 100 parts per million in August, 2011 unless the CPSC finds the requirement to be technologically unfeasible. 

According to the CPSC, the reason for the stay was to finalize and clarify the proposed component testing rule and the proposed testing and certification rule.  In the absence of these rules, component suppliers were refusing to test or refusing to supply certifications.  The stay should allow for sufficient time to complete the proposed rules and eliminate confusion among suppliers and manufacturers. 

The CPSC also issued a stay of enforcement of testing and certification pertaining to all-terrain vehicles designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger, until November 27, 2011.  The stay comes as a result of numerous public comments concerning the lack of CPSC-accredited third party conformity assessment bodies.  Despite the stay, CPSC staff will begin conducting compliance testing of youth ATVs.  For manufacturers with action plans approved by the CPSC, if there is evidence of noncompliance with the requirements of the mandatory standard, the CPSC will act.

Enforcement on the testing and certification requirements will be stayed if manufacturers with approved action plans submit a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC), submit any test reports supporting the company’s GCCs to the CPSC if requested, and provide a quarterly report detailing efforts the company has made to obtain tests and encourage third party conformity assessment bodies to become accredited. For additional discussion of the Act’s provisions, see our previous coverage here.  If you have questions about these issues, please contact the Litigation Practice Group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.


Special thanks to Meaghan Klem for her work on this update.

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