The Small Business Ombudsman provides small businesses with guidance to make sure that your consumer products are in compliance with the applicable federal consumer product safety laws. We recognize that some of our important consumer product safety rules may appear complex if you do not have prior experience in this area. We are available to assist you in navigating, understanding, and complying with these regulations.
The steps outlined below will assist you in making sure that your product is in compliance with federal consumer product safety rules. Remember that safety hazards may certainly exist even if your product complies with all applicable consumer product safety rules. These safety issues may be from poor design, manufacturing defects, poor process or quality control, or a host of other issues, many of which are often product-specific. You are urged to consider all possible safety issues, including likely and foreseeable consumer use and misuse, before your products are manufactured and distributed.
In addition, you are encouraged to meet or exceed all voluntary standards for your product class, monitor recalls for your product class to learn from the experiences of other manufacturers, and to seek external review of your product to make sure you are not overlooking any possible safety issues.
Make sure that you understand your continuing responsibility to report information about health or safety issues, regulatory non-compliance, and certain lawsuits to the CPSC.
Where do I begin?
Begin by working your way through the three steps outlined on our CPSIA webpage. Any exceptions and exemptions that may apply can also be found in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) for each requirement.
For manufacturers of children’s products, always keep in mind that your goal is to issue a Children’s Product Certificate (pdf) based on passing test results from a CPSC-accepted laboratory. You also must ensure that tracking information is affixed to the product and its packaging.
For manufacturers of non-children’s products for which there are consumer product safety rules in place, your goal is to issue a General Certificate of Conformity based on actual testing or a reasonable testing program.
Regulatory requirements vary for each product so there is no "one size fits all" checklist - we have highlighted the most commonly applicable requirements.
Note that the CPSC considers importers to be manufacturers under our law.
Alternative Testing Requirements
Did your small business have total gross revenues of $1 million or less last year? Then you may qualify for alternative requirements to reduce your third party testing costs. Learn more, register, or contact the Small Business Ombudsman with additional questions.
Webcasts and Presentations
The webcasts and presentations below may provide you with additional context and explanation to the requirements listed above.
Subscribe to the e-mail list by selecting "Updates for Small Business" or follow us on Twitter to be informed of upcoming webcasts.
"Get involved: CPSC Rulemaking on Durable Infant and Toddler Products Spring 2012 Update" at ABC Spring Education Conference (Thursday, April 26, 2012) [pdf] [Slides Only]
"Manufacturers of Doll Clothing for Children's Dolls: Applicable CPSC Children's Product Safety Rules" (Thursday, April 5, 2012) (Approx. 40 minutes.) and associated slides [pdf]
"Toy Safety Update: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Rules, Regulations, & Special Treatment for Small Batch Manufacturers" at New York International Toy Fair (Tuesday, February 14, 2012) [pdf] [Slides Only]
"Tracking Labels, Children’s Product Certification, Third Party Testing, & Component Part Testing" (Tuesday, January 24, 2012) (Approx. 20 minutes.) and associated slides [pdf]
"Small Batch Manufacturers: Registration with the CPSC and Limited Relief from Third Party Testing" (Tuesday, January 24, 2012) (Approx. 20 minutes.) and associated slides [pdf]
"Manufacturers of Cloth Diapers: Applicable CPSC Children’s Product Safety Rules" (Tuesday, January 24, 2012) (Approx. 30 minutes.) and associated slides [pdf]
"Small Batch Manufacturers of Children's Toys: The Who, What, When, Where, and How of Registering with the CPSC" (Thursday, December 1, 2011) (Approx. 1 hour.)
"Manufacturers of Children's Toys: What do I need to know and do by December 31, 2011?" (Tuesday, November 29, 2011) (Approx. 45 minutes.)
Doing Business with CPSC - Small Business Programs
CPSIA Guidance for Small Manufacturers, Importers, and Crafters of Children’s Products
Laws, Regulations, and Standards
Report a Potentially Defective or Hazardous Product
Resellers and Resale/Thrift Stores Information Center
Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that certain materials in this section are being updated to better reflect additional Commission activities since those materials were first prepared.
This communication has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is based upon the facts and information presented. This communication does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice and has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and does not necessarily represent their views. Any views expressed in this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.