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Poison Prevention Packaging Act Business Guidance

Enacted in 1970, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) requires certain substances to be in special packaging. “Special packaging” is defined as a package that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open within a reasonable time and not difficult for adults to use properly. The PPPA and related regulations are codified at: 16 CFR Subchapter E (parts 1700 to 1702).

The PPPA defines “household substances” as any substance which is customarily produced or distributed for sale for consumption or use, or customarily stored, by individuals in or about the household and which is:

  • A hazardous substance, as that term is defined in section 2(f) of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)
  • A food, drug, or cosmetic, as those terms are defined in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
  • A substance intended for use as fuel when stored in a portable container and used in the heating, cooking, or refrigeration system of a house.

For the sake of the elderly and people with disabilities who might have difficulty opening such containers, the PPPA provides that a regulated product available for purchase on store shelves may be packaged in one non-complying size, provided it carries a warning that it is not recommended for use in households with children, and provided that the product is also supplied in complying popular-size packages. In addition, prescription drugs may be dispensed in non-child-resistant packaging upon the specific request of the prescribing doctor or the patient.

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 certificate of compliance (General Certificate of Compliance, or GCC). For more information on GCCs, please visit the GCC page.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has jurisdiction over the packaging of certain household pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). For more information about FIFRA and EPA requirements, visit the EPA’s page on packaging for pesticides or contact

Enforcement Guidance

Additional Information


For more information, please contact the Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) team:

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