Where the information permits the public to readily ascertain the identity of a manufacturer, private labeler, or importer of a consumer product, section 6(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”), 15 U.S.C. § 2055(a), requires the Commission to offer the identified firms the opportunity to mark the information as confidential and barred from disclosure pursuant to section 6(a)(2) of the CPSA. Section 6(a)(2) prohibits the Commission from disclosing information that is trade secret and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential. Section 6(a)(2) incorporates Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4).
To make our decisions about exempt information, the Commission must rely on product manufacturers, private labelers, or importers to mark and identify the portions of the information they believe are proprietary and to justify these claims. In justifying any claims of trade secrets or confidential business information, as defined by CPSA section 6(a)(2) or FOIA Exemption 4, you must address the following factors in a written submission to the Commission:
- specifically identify the information claimed to be confidential, and explain why that information is considered to be confidential;
- state whether the information claimed to be confidential has ever been released in any manner to a person who was not an employee or in a confidential relationship with the company;
- state whether the information so specified is commonly known within the industry or is readily ascertainable by outside persons with a minimum of time and effort;
- state how release of the information so specified would be likely to cause substantial harm to the company’s competitive position; and
- state whether you are authorized to make claims of confidentiality on behalf of the person or organization concerned. See also the Commission's regulations under the FOIA, 16 CFR part 1015, and pay close attention to sections 1015.18 and 1015.19.
The business name, city, and state of the firms listed by the Commission as registered small batch manufacturers may be released, unless a firm’s specific justification addressing these five factors meets the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria.
In addition to providing the opportunity to make claims of confidentiality, under section 6(b) of the CPSA, we must provide you with the opportunity to comment on and review this information. These comments must be specific and include documentary evidence, where available. Comments lacking specific information may not support a claim of inaccuracy. After taking your comments into consideration, we may decide to disclose the information. This disclosure may include explanatory statements putting the information into proper context. These statements may be based, in part, on your comments, so please include all relevant information. In addition, we also may release to the public your comments or a summary, unless you request otherwise. Submissions may be sent to the Office of the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need more information on the disclosure notification, please contact our Small Business Ombudsman, Shelby Mathis, at: email@example.com
We will consider your comments and respond directly to you before releasing any information.