CPSC Extends the Stay of Enforcement on Testing and Certification Requirements for Many Children’s Products, New Flexibility Granted on Component Parts Testing Policy for Lead

While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules and bans.
December 18, 2009
Release Number: 10-083

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (5-0) to extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification of many regulated children’s products. While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules and bans.

Children’s Products

Categories of children’s products to remain covered by the stay of enforcement include: children’s toys and child care articles with banned phthalates, children’s toys subject to ASTM’s F-963 toy safety standard, caps and toy guns, clacker balls, baby walkers, bath seats, other durable infant products, electrically-operated toys, youth all-terrain vehicles, youth mattresses, children’s bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film and children’s sleepwear. In addition, the Commission has decided that a general certificate of conformity (GCC) is not required for these categories of children’s products pending the requirement to begin third party testing and certification. A full list of required certifications and effective dates can be found in the chart below. The chart shows which products remain subject to the stay of testing and certification and which do not.”

The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for these children’s products while CPSC continues to work toward recognizing labs. Independent third party testing and certification will only be required for these categories of children’s products 90 days after CPSC publishes the laboratory accreditation requirements for any individual category in the Federal Register.

Additionally, the Commission voted 4-1 to extend the stay on certification and third party testing for children’s products subject to lead content limits until February 10, 2011. Under this decision, products must still meet the 300 ppm lead limit now, but certification and third party testing to show compliance will be required for all children’s products manufactured after February 10, 2011. A children’s product is one that is primarily intended for children 12 and younger.

The stay will end on February 10, 2010 for four children’s products: bicycle helmets, bunk beds, infant rattles and dive sticks. These children’s products, manufactured after February 10, 2010, will be required to have certification based on independent third party testing. The testing must be conducted by a laboratory recognized by CPSC.

Unchanged is the current independent third party testing and certification required for all children’s products subject to the following consumer product safety rules:

- The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings

- The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers

- The ban on small parts

- The limits on lead content of metal components of children’s jewelry (non children’s products)

Nonchildren’s Products

Under the CPSIA, different rules apply to nonchildren’s products. Domestic manufacturers and importers are not required to test nonchildren’s products using an independent third party lab. However, they must certify that nonchildren’s products comply with applicable CPSC regulations by issuing a general certificate of conformity (GCC) based on a reasonable testing program.

A GCC will be required for some nonchildren’s products manufactured after February 10, 2010. These products include: architectural glazing materials, ATVs, adult bunk beds, candles with metal wicks, CB antennas, contact adhesives, cigarette lighters, multi-purpose lighters, matchbooks, garage door openers, portable gas containers, lawn mowers, mattresses, unstable refuse bins, refrigerator door latches, swimming pool slides, products subject to regulations under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), paint and household furniture subject to lead paint regulations.

The Commission has decided not to require GCCs for children’s products. A full list of required certifications and effective dates can be found in the attached chart (below). The chart shows which products remain subject to the stay of certification and which do not.

The stay of enforcement will remain in effect for certain categories of nonchildren’s products including adult bicycles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film and wearing apparel. General certificates of conformity are currently required for pool drain covers.

Additionally, products that require labeling under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) or labeling rules will not require additional certification to those regulations.

Component Testing Adds Flexibility to Compliance

Significant to domestic manufacturers, crafters and U.S. importers, the Commission has also voted unanimously (5-0) to adopt an interim enforcement policy allowing component part testing. Under this policy, domestic manufacturers and importers now have a choice in certifying their products. As before, they can send samples of the entire children’s product out for independent third party testing. Now they can certify their products as meeting lead paint and lead content limits in the following ways:

              Lead in Paint

- Have test reports from recognized independent third party testing labs showing that each paint on the product complies with the 90 ppm lead paint limit.

OR

- Have certificates from paint suppliers declaring that all their paint on the product complies with the 90 ppm lead limit based on testing by recognized independent third party testing laboratories.

Lead content

- Have test reports from recognized independent third-party testing labs showing that each of the accessible component parts on the product complies with the 300 ppm lead limit.

OR

- Have certificates from part suppliers declaring that all accessible component parts on the product comply with the 300 ppm lead limit based on testing by recognized independent third party testing laboratories.

Most fasteners, such as buttons, zippers, and screws, sold by themselves are not considered children’s products and would not have to comply with the lead limits or be certified. However, the same fasteners must meet the lead limits if they are used on a children’s product. Voluntary certification by suppliers of component parts would make them more beneficial to manufacturers who use them in children’s products.

Any person who issues a false certificate is subject to penalties.

CPSC is working to provide manufacturers and importers with clarity on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and their responsibilities to comply with the law. The agency intends to implement the law in a firm but fair manner in order to build consumer confidence, keep children safe and keep businesses open and competitive.

While the stay of enforcement remains in effect for the certification and testing requirements for certain products, all products must comply with the safety standards and bans of the law, including the limits for lead content, lead paint, the ban on certain phthalates and the ASTM F-963 mandatory toy standard.

This action is included the latest update to the listing of CPSIA requirements and stays of enforcement.

Links to Commissioners' Statements on this vote:

- Statement of Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum on the Stay of Enforcement of Testing and Certification Requirements (pdf)

- Statement of Commissioneer Robert Adler Regarding the Stay of Enforcement of Certain Testing and Certification Requirements (pdf) 

- Statement of the Honorable Thomas H. Moore on the Federal Register Notice of Commission Action on the Stay of Enforcement of Testing and Certification Requirements (pdf)  

- Statement of Commissioner Nancy Nord on Lifting the Stay of Enforcement on Testing and Certification Mandated in the CPSIA (pdf)  

- Statement of Commissioneer Anne M. Northup on the Revision of Terms of the Stay of Enforcement of Certain Testing and Certification Requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (pdf)