House and Senate Approve Urgently Needed CPSIA Amendment; White House Receives Bill for President Obama’s Signature

August 2, 2011 |  Following last night’s Senate approval by Unanimous Consent and a strong, bipartisan vote of support (421-2) in the House of Representatives, a long-awaited amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 has been forward to the White House for President Obama’s signature.  The President’s approval of H.R. 2715 is expected.

“This bill provides long-anticipated and much-needed relief for every company in the toy and children’s products industries,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president, in a bulletin sent to Association members late last night.

A full summary of key provisions of HR 2715 have been developed by TIA staff and posted to the Association’s website (see the CPSIA Resource Page).  Highlights of particular importance to companies in the toy industry include:

Lead Limits

  • Applies new limits to products manufactured after the effective date of the Rule (August 14, 2011)
  • Includes a limited exemption from the substrate lead standard if lead at low levels is necessary for proper function
  • Removes the lead limits for “used children’s products”
  • Includes categorical exclusions or alternative requirements for ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles and printed materials

3rd Party Testing

  • Requires CPSC to seek public comment on ways to reduce burden and cost, specifically requesting information on redundancy with existing testing standards
  • Includes testing exceptions for small batch manufacturers

Phthalates Limit

  • Includes an inaccessibility exclusion from the phthalate standard

Database

  • Requires CPSC to stay publication for five (5) additional days when the commission receives notice of materially inaccurate information
  • Requires CPSC to attempt to get model/serial number or a photo of a product in question

“TIA always has and always will support sound consumer product safety regulation,” added Keithley.  “But this Amendment was urgently needed to reduce some of the unintended and unnecessary burdens of the CPSIA. The CPSC [U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission] will now be able to move forward with implementing ‘common sense’ regulations that assure continued consumer protection.”

Association staff, members and toy industry stakeholders have lobbied for modifications to the CPSIA since the law was approved in 2008.  The last outreach, a letter from TIA’s President, was sent to each Senator following approval by the House and urging the Members’ similar approval in the Senate.   Word of the Unanimous Consent decision came shortly thereafter.

“This bipartisan legislation preserves the important consumer product safety cautions contained in the CPSIA while also providing much needed relief for companies to conform to the CPSIA’s requirements without unnecessary burdens,” said Keithley.  “We are grateful to our members for their constant engagement and support,” added Keithley. “The meetings, the letters and calls have really paid off!"

TIA members will be kept apprised as additional information becomes available. Immediate questions or comments can be directed to TIA’s Rebecca Mond (646.454.5588) or Peter Sandel (646.454.5580).