OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE
Assistant Executive Director
September 16, 1996
By notice published in the Federal Register (text version) (pdf version) of September 9, 1996, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a final rule amending the current Standards for the Flammability of Children's Sleepwear (16 C.F.R. 1615 and 1616) under the Flammable Fabrics Act. The amendments exempt completely from the sleepwear standards, garments sized 9 months and under. They also exempt tight-fitting sleepwear as defined in the amendments in sizes above 9 months.
The amendments are effective on January 1, 1997. Garments meeting the exemptions may not be marketed or sold to consumers until after the January 1, 1997 effective date.
The Commission also announced in the Federal Register (text version) (pdf version) of September 9, 1996, its decision to continue in effect the existing stay of enforcement published in the Federal Register (of October 25, 1994) for certain tight-fitting garments sold as underwear. This stay of enforcement will remain in effect until March 9, 1998 to provide time to sell tight-fitting garments that do not meet all the additional dimensional requirements specified in the amendments. The Stay applies to garments that are used for sleeping and are skin-tight, are relatively free of ornamentation, and are labeled and/or marketed as underwear. However, manufacturers should note that after the stay of enforcement expires, most of the garments currently marketed under the stay will be considered "sleepwear", and will have to comply with the tight-fitting dimensions of the amendments.
Under the new exemptions, tight-fitting sleepwear garments that are labeled with sizes that span two of the published size ranges, must be manufactured to be less than or equal to the measurements of the smallest size to assure a tight-fitting garment. Also, beginning January 1, 1997, all tight-fitting garments marketed, promoted and/or labeled as sleepwear must meet the dimensions published in the enclosed amendment, not the stay of enforcement, since the stay of enforcement is limited in its scope to skin-tight garments marketed as underwear.
Please contact Patricia Fairall at 301-504-7517 or Marilyn Borsari at 301-504-7619, if you have any questions.