On August 12, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 2715 to revise the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
The quick action on this bill was driven by the imminent lowering of the lead content standard of children’s products to 100 parts per million (ppm) on August 14, 2011. Previously, standards would have applied retroactively to manufacturers’ existing inventories. The new law establishes that the lead limit of 100 ppm applies only to children’s products manufactured after August 14, 2011.
H.R. 2715 contains a number of revisions to regulations affecting the promotional products industry. H.R. 2715:
• Grants exceptions to the lead in substrate limit for a specific product or class of product if the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), after notice and a hearing, determines that (i) the product or class of product requires the inclusion of lead because it is not practicable to manufacture the product without it, (ii) the product or class or product is not likely to be placed in the mouth or ingested by a child, and (iii) an exception for the product or class or product would have no measurable adverse effect on public health or safety.
• Reduces third-party testing burdens by directing the CPSC to seek public comment on opportunities to reduce the cost of third-party testing requirements. Following the public comment period, the CPSC will review the public comments and prescribe new or revised third-party testing regulations if it determines that such regulations will reduce third-party testing costs.
• Allows the CPSC to provide third-party testing relief for “small batch manufacturers,” where no more than 10,000 units of the same product were manufactured in the previous calendar year and when the manufacturer had no more than $1,000,000 in total gross revenue from sales of all consumer products in the previous calendar year. Children’s metal jewelry or products with small parts are excluded from the children’s products eligible for this relief.
• Grants exceptions to the phthalate ban for any component part of a children’s toy or child-care article that is not accessible to a child through normal and reasonable foreseeable use and abuse of such product, as determined by the CPSC.
• Gives the CPSC the authority to exclude a specific product or class of products from the tracking label requirements if the CPSC determines that is not practicable for such product or class or products to bear the tracking labels.
• Improves product safety database reporting by requiring the submission of a model or serial number or photograph of the product. To see the database, go to www.saferproducts.gov.
• Exempts ordinary books or ordinary paper-based printed materials from the CPSIA’s third-party testing requirements. Specific definitions for “ordinary books” and “ordinary paper-based printed materials” do apply. Such terms do not include books with inherent play value, and does not include any toy or other article that is not a book that is sold or packaged with an ordinary book.
PPAI will continue to educate its members on these and other regulations through ongoing online education and live events.