Amended CPSC Filing Requirements Could Add $18.7 Million Burden on Industry

May 14, 2013 | The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a public call for comment on proposed changes to certificate of compliance requirements for all CPSC-regulated consumer products. The proposed changes could add complexities and significantly alter the way most companies manage their logistics for inbound freight to the U.S.; the changes could more than double compliance costs for children’s product companies – from an approximate $15 million annual spent to comply with current certification requirements to nearly $34 million annually. Comments on the proposal are due to the CPSC by July 29, 2013; the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is submitting comments on behalf of its members.

Under the amended rule, companies that import regulated finished products manufactured outside of the U.S. would be required to file product certificates electronically with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation in conjunction with other customs entry documents.  Additionally, certifications would have to be identified prominently on the finished product, shipping carton, or invoice with a unique identifier and be accessible online without password protection. 

“Since the certification rule was first introduced in 2008, businesses have figured out a way to incorporate the requirements into their daily operations, from quality control to importation procedures,” said Rebecca Mond, Toy Industry Association (TIA) director of federal government affairs. “Under the amended rule, importers would transition from an ‘on demand’ model, where certificates are available upon request by the CPSC, to a model where the appropriate certificates are provided to CBP before the arrival of each customs entry into the country, submitted either as an electronic document or as a web link, among other means.   This poses a significant financial and logistical burden to many companies.”

The proposed amendment also clarifies requirements in light of component part and testing regulations that passed after the current certification rule went into effect; maintains that products manufactured within the U.S. would not need to be filed, but must be made available if requested by the Commission; and requires foreign manufacturers (or, if applicable, private labelers) to file certificates electronically with CBP or to make the certificate available for CPSC inspection for all products manufactured outside of the U.S. but delivered directly to consumers (such as products purchased online).

Due to the timing of the comment period this summer, certification changes would not go into effect in advance of Q4; therefore, shipments for Holiday 2013 will not be impacted by this rule.

TIA will be submitting comments to the CPSC by the July 29 deadline regarding the content requirements of the certificate, the economic impact of the certification rule, the logistics of electronic certification, and more. Members may contact TIA’s Rebecca Mond with any feedback to be included in the submitted comments, or to receive additional information about the rule’s impact. Comments on behalf of individual companies may be submitted directly to the CPSC at www.regulations.gov (docket number CPSC-2013-0017).

TIA will host a webinar on June 12, 2013 led by the director at the Office of Import Surveillance and Inspection at the CPSC to provide toy industry stakeholders with information on what to do to ease the import process at U.S. ports.