CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2008 – CONFORMITY CERTIFICATES

While the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC or Commission) originally published implementation date is now only one day away, the importing community has yet to receive clarification on many points that are crucial to allow for compliance with the new requirements of the Act. In a document listed on CPSC’s website today, they’ve confirmed an overwhelming turnout of literally thousands of comments and questions submitted during the collection period.

We provide you with the information below for your reference, which is the most current available to us through this document and previous memos posted with respect to this initiative.

  • The CPSC has reduced the certification requirement to apply only to the importer of any foreign merchandise, as well as to the domestic manufacturer of any US made products. (No longer required from the foreign manufacturer or private labeler.)
  • For imports of foreign merchandise, the certificates must be readily available for viewing by the Commission in conjunction with the presentation of the product or shipment for release. Noting the logistical complications that were implied by many parties from within the importing community, CSPS has concluded that electronic certificates which can be easily accessed by distributors and retailers satisfies the previously established requirement, so long as it is clearly evident that the electronic form was created and/or modified before the goods entered the commerce of the United States.
  • CPSC recommends that importers and domestic manufacturer’s retain the certificates and supporting documents for a minimum of 3 years after issuance.
  • Unlike Customs’ binding ruling program, CPSC confirms it will not pre-approve products for compliance with it’s’ standards, bans, regulations, etc. The Commission firmly notes it is the responsibility of the manufacturer as a normal incident of conducting business, to know what legal CPSC requirements it must follow.
  • Children’s products subject to the provisions of the act, manufactured on or after December 22, 2008, will need to be third-party tested and certified as meeting the general lead paint ban. A summary of information on the lead paint ban can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/regsumleadpaint.pdf
  • Other children’s products will require 3rd party testing based upon the below schedule for 2009. Accreditation procedures are scheduled to be released to the public two months prior to the effective date of each initiative shown.
  • Cribs; Pacifiers – January 2009
  • Small Parts – February 2009;
  • Metal Jewelry – March 2009;
  • Baby Bouncers, Walkers; Jumpers – June 2009; 300 PPM
  • Lead Content; August 2009
  • CPSC Children; Product Safety Rules; September 2009

 

  • For textiles and apparel products, the CPSC reports that years of flammability testing has shown that the following fabrics consistently pass as Class 1 textiles and are exempt from the reasonable and representative testing requirements for firms issuing a flammability guaranty on these fabrics (although a conformity certificate is still required here):

plain surface fabrics, regardless of fiber content, weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard (88 grams/m2) or more; and

all fabrics (both plain surface and raised-fiber surface) regardless of weight, made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from a combination of these fibers: acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, and wool

  • The Commission notes that although they expect every company to make the best effort to promptly comply with the new certification requirements, their own resource limitations will force their focus to remain directly on a product’s compliance with the regulations.
  • The implementation date for the certificates of conformity begins with any regulated product manufactured on or after November 12th, 2008. An official at the October 2008 CBP Trade Symposium advised that CBP will not stop shipments of subject goods for lack of a CPSIA-required conformity certificate in the immediate future.
  • The CPSC`s comment/question collection period closed on October 29, 2008 and the Commission notes they’ve been unable to attend to all submissions due to the overwhelming response. FAQ’s are still under development and will be posted as soon as the agency’s resources permit.

As soon as additional information is available on this topic, another memo will be distributed through our Omnitrans Breaking News Bulletin.

For further questions specific to your product line or to acquire sample certificates, please consult with one of our senior regulatory staff members listed below.