On Monday, November 10, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a final rule (pdf) by unanimous vote, addressing the conformity certification required for consumer products subject to safety rules under CPSC jurisdiction.
The Commission addressed three major issues: 1) who should supply the certificate; 2) how the certificate can be filed; and 3) CPSC enforcement of general certification.
First, the certification process will now be streamlined, by limiting the number of parties who must issue conformity certifications unless a preexisting Commission product standard requires otherwise. The Commission determined that for imported products, only the importer needs to issue the conformity certificate.
Foreign manufacturers and private labelers of imported products do not need to issue certificates, and they do not need to be listed as parties on certificates. For products manufactured in the United States, only the domestic manufacturer needs to issue the certificate. Private labelers do not need to issue certificates, and do not need to be listed as parties on certificates.
Second, the rule confirms that electronic means can be used to meet the certification requirement in the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (CPSIA) and that conformity certifications can accompany the product and be furnished to distributors and retailers by a variety of electronic means. Electronic certificates can also be posted on a website for inspection or included with other electronic documents accompanying shipments through Customs, so long as the certificates can be produced immediately for inspection.
Finally, the agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on a product’s compliance with our safety requirements. While the Commission recognizes that every company is expected to make its best efforts to comply promptly with the new certificate requirements, the agency intends initially to focus more on compliance with the safety rules underlying the certificate, rather than on the certificate or form of the certificate itself. For addition information and a copy of the rule, go to www.cpsc.gov
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.