CPSC adopts third-party testing rules for children’s products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new third-party testing rules for domestic manufacturers and importers of all children’s products.

As a result of a 3-2 vote taken by the Commission in October 2011, domestic manufacturers and importers of all children’s products will be required to test and certify that their products comply with product safety standards as required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Firms will also be required to keep records on the testing and certification of their products, and to periodically retest products to ensure continued compliance with the safety requirements.

The testing and certification requirements will go into effect 15 months after their publication in the Federal Register, on or about January 2013.

Companies are already required to conduct initial testing on some products, such as children’s cribs, pacifiers and metal jewelry. Testing is also required for children’s products that include small parts, or which are painted. The new testing requirements go beyond initial testing to ensure that products continue to meet applicable safety standards.

In two separate but related actions, the Commission also voted 5-0 to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the selection of representative samples that can be tested for compliance with the new requirements, and to seek public comment on opportunities to reduce the cost of third-party testing.

In a statement following the vote to implement the new testing requirements for children’s products, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum and Commissioners Robert Adler and Thomas Moore noted that the Commission had received within the space of just one week over 10,000 letters from consumers in all 50 states supporting the implementation of the third-party testing rules.