CPSC Approves Adult Apparel Enforcement Discretion

Under a new enforcement policy that goes into effect March 25, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will not pursue compliance or enforcement actions against makers, importers or private labelers of certain adult apparel determined exempt from testing under CPSC’s flammability standard for not having a general conformity certificate (GCC) for adult apparel. Even with the testing exemption and enforcement discretion for GCCs, wearing apparel must still comply with all flammability requirements under the Flammability Fabrics Act (FFA).

Adult apparel, with few exceptions, is subject only to the flammability limits established under the FFA.  In 1984, based on its experience enforcing the FFA, CPSC determined that specific kinds of fabric (plain- or raised-fiber surface acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, wool or any plain-surface fabric weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard or more) would, by their nature, always meet those limits. CPSC’s clothing flammability standard exempts from testing garments made entirely from these fabrics [16 C.F.R. § 1610.1(d)].

Under the CPSIA, adult apparel products made of the fabrics CPSC has determined to be compliant—which comprise the majority of adult apparel—are subject to the certification requirement. Because such certification imposes costs for manufacturers and importers, without advancing compliance or product safety in this context, the Commission has exercised its enforcement discretion and will not pursue compliance or enforcement actions regarding certificates in these circumstances.

This policy is estimated to provide about $250 million a year in paperwork burden relief, of which about 60 percent will have impacted small and medium-sized businesses.

filed under industry-news | march-2016
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