Small Business Ombudsman

Welcome!

The Small Business Ombudsman provides small businesses with guidance to make sure that your consumer products are in compliance with the applicable federal consumer product safety laws. We recognize that some of our important consumer product safety rules may appear complex if you do not have prior experience in this area.

 

We are available to assist you in navigating, understanding, and complying with these regulations.  

 

Where do I begin?

 

Please start your education at our Business Education page, where we walk you through the basic steps of understanding how to comply with consumer product safety regulations.

 

Regulatory requirements vary for each product so there is no "one size fits all" checklist - we have highlighted the most commonly applicable requirements.

 

For manufacturers of children’s products, always keep in mind that your goal is to issue a Children’s Product Certificate  based on passing test results from a CPSC-accepted laboratory. You also must ensure that tracking information is permanently affixed to the product and its packaging.

 

For manufacturers of non-children’s products for which there are consumer product safety rules in place, your goal is to issue a General Certificate of Conformity based on actual testing or a reasonable testing program.

 

Note that the CPSC considers importers to be manufacturers under our law.


Safety First

The steps outlined above will assist you in making sure that your product is in compliance with federal consumer product safety rules. Remember that safety hazards may certainly exist even if your product complies with all applicable consumer product safety rules. These safety issues may be from:

  • poor design,
  • manufacturing defects,
  • poor process or quality control,
  • or a host of other issues, many of which are often product-specific.

 

You are urged to consider all possible safety issues, including likely and foreseeable consumer use and misuse, before your products are manufactured and distributed.

 

In addition, you are encouraged to meet or exceed all voluntary standards for your product class, monitor recalls for your product class to learn from the experiences of other manufacturers, and to seek external review of your product to make sure you are not overlooking any possible safety issues.

 

Make sure that you understand your continuing responsibility to report information about health or safety issues, regulatory non-compliance, and certain lawsuits to the CPSC.

 

Additional Resources

Doing Business with CPSC - Small Business Programs

 

Non-Retaliation Policy

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)