CPSC extends deadline for safety tests
Many children's product manufacturers received a temporary reprieve from new safety requirements when the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted prior to the holidays to postpone enforcement of independent testing requirements. The agency also gave companies additional flexibility to meet lead requirements.
Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, manufacturers are to send children's products, such as toys and sleepwear, to independent laboratories for testing and certification that they meet U.S. standards. The decision extends the existing stay on enforcement while the agency works to approve more labs.
Independent certification will become required 90 days after the CPSC publishes laboratory accreditation requirements for specific product categories in the Federal Register.
However, third-party testing remains in effect for the ban on lead in paint and surface coatings, cribs and pacifiers, the ban on small parts and limits on lead content of metal components in children's jewelry.
The commission also extended 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 parts per million lead limit now, but certification won't require independent testing to show compliance. Four children's products ' bicycle helmets, bunk beds, infant rattles and dive sticks ' will have to implement a testing regime one year sooner, on Feb. 10, 2010.
A children's product is one that is primarily intended for children 12 and younger.
The new consumer product safety law does not require domestic manufacturers or importers of non-children's products to verify safety through third-party testing, but they must certify that their products comply with CPSC regulations. A General Certificate of Conformity will be required for about a dozen categories of products after Feb. 10, 2010, including garage door openers, cigarette lighters and lawn mowers. The certificate requirement remains on hold for other products.
The CPSC also ruled that manufacturers can meet the independent testing requirement by testing component parts for lead rather than sending samples of the entire product for testing, if they prefer.
To read a summary of the Dec. 18 CPSC rulings, click here.