Enacted in 2022, Reese’s Law (P.L. 117-171) mandates federal safety requirements for button cell or coin batteries. Below are the various requirements for button cell or coin batteries as well as consumer products that contain or can use such batteries. The requirements range from performance to labeling and certification.
Products Containing or Designed to Use Button Cell or Coin Batteries – Reese’s Law Section 2
Section 2 of Reese’s Law requires CPSC to promulgate a rule for button cell or coin batteries and consumer products that contain such batteries. CPSC has published a direct final rule (88 FR 65274) that incorporates by reference ANSI/UL 4200A-2023 as the mandatory safety standard. The requirements are codified at 16 CFR part 1263 and apply to consumer products that contain button cell or coin batteries manufactured or imported on or after October 23, 2023 (unless significant adverse comment is received by October 5, 2023). Third party testing and certification of children’s products subject to 16 CFR part 1263 is not required until on or after December 20, 2023. The Commission recognizes that there may be limited testing availability and potential hardship with meeting the mandatory requirements; therefore, the Commission has granted an enforcement discretion such that these requirements will apply to products manufactured or imported after March 19, 2024.
A “button cell or coin battery” that is subject to the requirements of 16 CFR part 1263 means a single cell battery with a diameter greater than the height of the battery. The rule excludes zinc-air button cell or coin batteries from the scope of 16 CFR part 1263.
Per ANSI/UL 4200A-2023, the requirements for consumer products containing or designed to use button cell or coin batteries are as follows:
- Battery compartments containing replaceable button cell or coin batteries must be secured such that they require the use of a tool or at least two independent and simultaneous hand movements to open.
- Button cell or coin battery compartments must not allow such batteries to be accessed or liberated as a result of use and abuse testing.
- The packaging for the overall product must bear a warning.
- The product itself must bear a warning, if practicable.
- Accompanying instructions and manuals must include all of the applicable warnings.
A read-only copy of ANSI/UL 4200A-2023 is available for free at www.ulstandards.com/IBR/logon.aspx.
By statute, the rule does not apply to toy products designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything for children under 14 years of age if the toy products are in compliance with the battery accessibility and labeling requirements of 16 CFR part 1250, which incorporates by reference ASTM F963. Section 4.25 of the toy standard contains requirements for battery-operated toys.
Also pursuant to section 2 of Reese’s Law, CPSC published a separate final rule (88 FR 65296) to establish warning label requirements for the packaging of button cell or coin batteries, including batteries that are packaged separately with a consumer product, per 16 CFR § 1263.4. This requirement will apply to products manufactured or imported after September 21, 2024. Additional requirements apply to the packaging of button cell or coin batteries (see below).
Packaging for Button Cell or Coin Batteries – Reese’s Law Section 3
Section 3 of Reese’s Law requires “any button cell or coin battery sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported into the United States, or included separately with a consumer product sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported into the United States” to utilize packaging that meets the requirements of 16 CFR § 1700.15. This requirement is effective after February 12, 2023. Therefore, any subject product manufactured or imported after February 12, 2023, must meet this packaging requirement. These packaging requirements do not apply to button cell or coin batteries manufactured or imported on or before February 12, 2023.
On March 8, 2023, the Commission voted to instruct the Office of Compliance and Field Operations to exercise enforcement discretion for the packaging requirements of section 3 for zinc-air button cell or coin batteries—a technology used to power hearing aids and other hearing assistive technologies. Pursuant to the exercise of enforcement discretion, at this time special packaging for zinc-air button cell or coin batteries will not be enforced until March 8, 2024. For more information on the enforcement discretion, see the Commission’s Statement of Policy.
For more information on the requirements of 16 CFR § 1700.15 and special packaging, visit our Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) business guidance page.
By statute, button cell or coin battery packaging compliant with the marking and packaging provisions of ANSI C18.3M is not subject to the special packaging requirements in section 3 of Reese’s Law. You can access a read-only copy of the ANSI C18.3M standard here: NEMA IBR Standards Available (ansi.org).
Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires manufacturers of consumer products subject to a regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC to certify that those products meet the requirements of the standard by issuing a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) for children’s products or a General Certificate of Compliance (GCC) for general-use products. Certificates for products subject to section 2 of Reese’s Law must include the citation “16 CFR part 1263 – Button cell or coin batteries and consumer products containing such batteries.” Certificates for products subject to section 3 of Reese’s Law must include the citation “P.L. 117-171 – Button cell or coin battery packages.”
Note, testing to the special packaging requirements of the PPPA per section 3 of Reese’s Law is not required to be conducted by a third-party, CPSC-accepted laboratory. As a result, button cell or coin batteries that are packaged separately but included with a children’s product do not need to be tested by a third-party, CPSC-accepted laboratory. The CPC for such children’s products must still include the citation for section 3 of Reese’s Law (see previous paragraph) along with the other applicable children’s product safety rules. Sections of the CPC related to testing may list multiple pieces of information as needed (e.g., multiple dates and place of testing).
For more information, please contact the Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) team: