CPSC soon will propose that all manufacturers, private labelers, importers and distributors of consumer products be required to keep records of every consumer complaint relating to product safety for at least 5 years from receipt and permit immediate access by the Commission to these records.
The proposed regulations, to be issued under Section 16 of the Consumer Product Safety Act, would apply to all products within the jurisdiction of the Commission--products regulated under the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act and the Refrigerator Safety Act.
According to the proposal, which will be published September 3 in the Federal Register, the sweeping requirements are necessary to enable the Commission to eliminate or reduce the risks of injury associated with consumer products.
Information collected under these rules would allow the Commission to learn the number and extent of complaints and help to determine priorities for future action. The information also could assist the Commission to identify substantial product defects and hazardous products that should be removed from the marketplace.
The proposal states that manufacturers, importers, private labelers and distributors must keep records of any oral or written communication from any individual or organization concerning a death, illness or injury or potential death, illness or injury related to a consumer product or any complaint related to the safety of a consumer product. Responses to complaints, analyses of the validity of complaints, and records of law suits regarding consumer product safety also must be retained.
Under the proposed rules, the records would be kept in the main corporate headquarters or principal place of business in the United States although other locations may be utilized in accordance with certain requirements.
Further, immediately upon an oral or written request of any officer, agent or employee duly designated by the Commission, every manufacturer, importer, private labeler or distributor of a consumer product shall permit inspection and copying of books, records and papers relating to consumer complaint records.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 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.
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