Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires manufacturers and importers 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: Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) for children’s products or General Certificate of Compliance (GCC) for general-use products.
Certifying to 16 CFR part 1272 for general-use products does not require laboratory testing, because the regulation does not contain a testing methodology. A manufacturer or importer of toy, look-alike and imitation firearms can assure a high degree of compliance with 16 CFR part 1272 by conducting an internal quality assurance program for their products.
For toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms, the citation to use in section 2 of the certificate is 16 CFR part 1272.
General-use Product Compliance and Certification
As stated above, certification to the requirements of 16 CFR part 1272 does not need to be based upon laboratory testing. In short, manufacturers and importers of general-use products do not need to conduct third party testing in order to assure product compliance and issue a GCC. Instead certification in this situation can be based upon an internal compliance review, known officially in the law as a “reasonable testing program” (see our reasonable testing program FAQ). For toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms, such a program could be based upon internal quality assurance checks to ensure a high degree of compliance with the requirements. For more information on general-use product certification, visit our GCC business guidance page. In general, preparation and delivery of a GCC is expected to take no more than 2-3 hours per product—and usually less than 1 hour.
GCC Temporary Enforcement Discretion: The CPSC Office of Compliance and Field Operations will exercise enforcement discretion and will not pursue enforcement action against manufacturers, importers, or private labelers of look-alike and imitation firearms for failure to certify or to issue, provide, or make available to the Commission a GCC pursuant to Section 14(a)(1) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2063(a)(1). This enforcement discretion will remain in effect until January 1, 2024. This discretion does not impact any other requirements under the law. Please read the entire GCC enforcement discretion letter for more information.
Children’s Product Compliance and Certification
In addition to meeting the requirements of 16 CFR part 1272, manufacturers and importers of toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms that are primarily intended for use by children 12 years of age and younger must meet additional consumer product safety requirements. (See our Children’s Product Business Guidance Page)
All children’s products must comply with the total lead content requirements found at 15 USC §1278a. Additionally, any children’s products containing paint or similar surface coatings must comply with lead in paint requirements under 16 CFR part 1303. Children’s products must further comply with CPSC tracking label requirements (see our training video).
Toy guns designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything for children need to meet additional requirements under the U.S. Toy Standard: 16 CFR part 1250/ASTM F963. (Read-only copies of ASTM standards that are incorporated by reference, including ASTM F963, can be viewed at ASTM’s electronic Reading Room). Plastic components on children’s toy guns would need to comply with phthalate content limits under 16 CFR 1307.
Compliance with one or more of these additional children’s product requirements likely require third-party testing at a CPSC-accepted laboratory. For more information on children’s product certification, visit our CPC business guidance page.