CPSC’s Further Interpretation on "Children's Product"
Section 235(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) amended section 3(a) (2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act ("CSPA") by creating a new definition of "children's product". A "children's product" is defined, in part, as “a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger”.
A proposed interpretative rule has been recently issued on 17 March 2010 to further discuss the definition of “children's product”. This proposed interpretative rule aims at discussing the statutory definition and providing guidance on how manufacturers can evaluate consumer products to determine whether such products are children's products.
The proposed interpretative rule defines certain factors that are to be taken when making a determination about whether a product is “designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger”. These factors are:
- A statement issued by the concerned manufacturer about the intended use of such product, including a label certifying that such statement is reasonable;
- Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger;
- Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by children 12 years of age or younger; and
- The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002 and any successor to such guidelines.
The proposed interpretative rule also states that “products intended for use by children 12 years or younger” applies to those products children physically interact with. This definition is based on the reasonably foreseeable use and misuse of such products.
This rule also defines “general use product” as consumer products that are not being marketed to or advertised as being primarily intended for use by children 12 years old or younger but for use by a significant proportion of the population older than 12 years of age.
The Rule the CPSC provides examples to help manufacturers understand the concept of children’s product under the CPSIA which include:
- Furnishings and fixtures;
- DVDs, Video Games and Computers;
- Art Materials;
- Science Equipment;
- Sporting Goods and Recreational Equipment; and
- Musical Instruments
Details of the proposed interpretative rule concerning the definition of “children’s product” can be found in the following source:
CPSC Approves the New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Bath Seats
Section 104 of the CPSIA “Standards and Consumer Registration of Durable Nursery Products” requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop federal safety standards for infant and toddler products.
The federal safety standard for infant bath seats is the first mandatory standard for a range of infant and toddler durable products. The standard improves the current ASTM voluntary standard by adding stricter stability requirements to prevent the bath seat from tipping over. In addition, the standard also sets up tighter leg opening requirements for the bath seats to prevent infant from slipping through the leg openings. According to the standard, products are required to have a larger permanent warning label in order to alert parents and caretakers that the bath seats are not safety devices.
The federal standard incorporates the current voluntary standard provisions, requiring latching and locking mechanisms, and the requirements of CPSC for sharp points and edges, small parts and lead content in paint.
The standard for infant bath seats was recently published in the Federal Register on 4 June 2010 and will become effective from 6 December 2010. Bath seats manufactured or imported on or after that date will be required to meet the new mandatory standard.
CPSC Issues a Final Mandatory Rule on Infant Baby Walkers
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently issued a final mandatory rule under Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for infant baby walkers.
To reduce the risk of injury from using infant baby walkers, some stringent requirements have been added to the voluntary industry standard, ASTM F 977-07, to form the final mandatory rule. These include:
- using the actual weight of a walker in the calculation to determine the launching distance for the stair fall test;
- specifying equipment used in the stair fall test; and
- adding a parking brake test for walkers equipped with parking brakes.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register soon and will become effective six months after.
CPSC Approves a Final Rule on Civil Penalty Factors
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) provides interpretation on the civil penalty factors addressed by the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), and Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA). The CPSIA amended the Acts to require the CPSC to now consider the following factors when seeking a civil penalty amount for knowing violations of the CPSC laws:
- the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation, including the nature of the product defect or the substance;
- the severity of the risk of injury;
- the occurrence or absence of injury;
- the number of defective products or the amount of substance distributed;
- the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the size of the business or of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses; and
- other factors as appropriate.
Since August 14 2009, the maximum penalty for each violation of the CPSA, FHSA and FFA has been increased from US$ 8,000 to US$ 100,000. The maximum penalty amount for a related series of violations has been increased from US$ 1.8 million to US$ 15 million.
This final rule became effective upon publication in the Federal Register on 31 March 2010.
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material/event (or by members of the Project team) do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Trade and Industry Department or the Vetting Committee for the SME Development Fund.