CPSC Votes to Require Third-party Testing for Children's Products
Late last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) passed a series of regulations finalizing the requirements for testing children's products. The CPSC voted 3-2 to require independent, third-party product testing for manufacturers, importers and private labelers of products "designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger."
The "Final Rule on Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Certification" will require firms to test and certify that the specified products comply with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) and that this testing must be provided by a third party auditor. Further, the rule specifies that any time there is a change in the product design, manufacturing process or component parts, firms must have the entire product re-tested and re-certified. Further, affected companies will be required to keep records of all testing and certification of children's products. These requirements will go into effect 15 months after they are published in the Federal Register.
A second rule, "Conditions and Requirements for Relying on Component Part Testing or Certification, or Another Party's Finished Product Testing or Certification, to Meeting Testing and Certification Requirements," also passed by a 3-2 vote on Thursday. This provision would allow manufacturers, importers and private labelers to utilize testing and compliance materials from component manufacturers in order to meet the CPSC's testing requirements, provided that the component manufacturers' testing adheres to the aforementioned regulations.
As part of the ruling, compliant children's products will be allowed to bear the label "Meets CPSC Safety Requirements." This label is voluntary and not be required for compliance.
American businesses are already responsible for initial testing of certain products intended for children, such as those that could have lead in the paint or that contain small parts, but the new rules both expand the testing and outline the specifications for certification. Further, "all domestic manufacturers, importers and private labelers of children's products will be required to test the products periodically to ensure continued compliance with federal safety standards," the CPSC said in a statement.