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US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
 
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a United States federal-level legislation which has been enacted since 14 August 2008.  The act was established to protect domestic consumers, especially children, from unsafe products containing certain hazardous substances. The CPSIA imposes various new mandatory requirements regarding hazardous substances concentration, product labeling, product certification, third party testing and toy safety standards, etc.
  • Implementation of the CPSIA
Established since 1972, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent regulatory body responsible for implementing the requirements of CPSIA in order to protect and safeguard the public from unsafe consumer products. 
  • Scope of the CPSIA
Generally the requirements imposed in the CPSIA focus on children's product, which is defined as any consumer products designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. In addition, the CPSIA also sets out limits of phthalates concentrations in certain children’s toys or child care articles.
 
The CPSIA is not applicable to certain products such as food and medical products which are regulated under legislations enforced by other US agencies.
 
The complete requirements of the CPSIA can be found at the CPSC’s official site (http://www.cpsc.gov/ABOUT/Cpsia/legislation.html).
  • Requirements
The CPSIA is known as a comprehensive and complex legal framework which consists of individual sections to detail the requirements for different product categories. The CPSIA also outlines an effective system for the enforcement of such requirements.
 
The following table outlines various sections of CPSIA with highlighted sections that may have prominent effect on consumer product manufacturers. Please click on each section to see more details regarding the requirements and timelines.
 
Section
Description
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
212
213
214
215
217
218
219
222
225
231
232
 
  • Restrictions of Lead and Certain Products Containing Specified Phthalates
CPSIA intends to gradually restrict the concentrations of lead and specified phthalates in consumer products. Section 101 and 108 set out the new limits for lead and specified phthalates contents in children’s products, children’s toys and child care articles. The CPSIA also sets out the limits of lead in paint or surface coating for products intended for use by children.
 
Description
Concentration Limit (ppm)
Effective Date
Lead in Paint for Children’s Product
600
14/08/2008
90
14/08/2009
Lead Content in Children’s Product
600
10/02/2009
300
14/08/2009
100 unless is not technologically feasible
14/08/2011
Specified Phthalates in Children’s Toy or Child care Article
(including BBP, DBP, DEHP; and DIDP, DINP, DnOP*)
1,000 each
10/02/2009
 
* The prohibition for DIDP, DINP and DnOP are applicable only to child care articles, or toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth.
  • General Certification of Conformity and Mandatory Third Party Testing
The CPSIA mandates the requirements of issuing a General Certification of Conformity (GCC) for products that are subject to the Act after 12 November, 2008. Although the GCC is a self-declaration for product conformance, the GCC should be issued based on the product testing results under a reasonable testing program. In addition, when GCC is issued, it must contain the statement addressing the product which is in compliance with all the applicable rules, standards, regulations or bans within the CPSIA.
 
Independent testing conducted by a third party Conformity Assessment Body (laboratory) is required for children’s products before placing them on the US market for consumption, warehousing, or commercial distribution. The effective dates of imposing the mandatory testing requirements are 90 days after CPSC releasing the relevant laboratory accreditation criteria for each category of children’s products, which include cribs, children’s metal jewelry, children’s bike helmets, children’s clothing, etc.
 
On 18 December, 2009, the CPSC extended the stay of enforcement on certain testing and certification requirements until 10 February, 2011.  These stays of enforcement provide more preparation time for manufacturers to comply with the third-party testing requirements of the CPSIA. For details, please refer to the official news release at:
  • Tracking Labels for Children’s Products
The CPSIA requires that children's product and its packaging should contain a permanent and distinguishing label after 14 August, 2009. The label must include information of manufacturer’s name, production date, manufacturing location, and cohort information (including run number, batch number, or other identifying characteristics). 
  • Standards and Consumer Registration of Durable Nursery Products
The CPSIA requires manufacturers of durable infant or toddler products to provide a postage-paid consumer registration form with each such product. In addition, it requires the manufacturer to maintain a record of registered consumers for at least 6 years, and to show certain product information (e.g. manufacturer name, contact information, model name and number, and date of production) on each product permanently.  Such requirements took effect on 14 August, 2009 and would improve the effectiveness of recalling products when necessary. 
  • Labeling Requirement for Advertising Toys and Games
Cautionary statement should be not only added on the packaging of certain toys and games, but should also be available in the internet and printed materials for advertising the products. A set of detailed criteria are provided regarding the requirements of layout, language, colour, and display for the statement. The labeling requirements regarding advertisements through the internet took effect on 12 December 2008; while the labeling requirements for product catalogue or other printed material advertising took effect on 10 February 2009.
  • Mandatory Toy Safety Standards
Starting from 10 February 2009, the toy safety standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM F963-07) became a mandatory standard under the CPSIA. The revision in ASTM F963-08 (a successor standard of ASTM F963-07) which was accepted by the CPSC, became a mandatory standard on 17 August 2009. 
  • Penalties
Failure to comply with the CPSIA requirements may result in significant civil and criminal liabilities, including a maximum civil penalty of US $15 million and up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • All-Terrain Vehicle Standard
Three wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) cannot be imported or distributed in the United States starting from 13 September 2008.   From 13 April 2009, the CPSIA requires that any company importing or distributing new assembled or unassembled ATV in the US market should comply with the ATV standards (ANSI/SVIA 09109-2007) and a GCC has to be issued as a declaration for such compliance. Furthermore, youth ATV which is intended primarily for children of 12 years of age or younger is required to meet the third-party testing requirements.
 
 


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