Third-Party Testing and Certification to ASTM F963-11 Required as of June 2013

March 19, 2013 | Beginning on June 10, 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will require toy manufacturers to obtain third-party testing from CPSC-accredited labs to demonstrate compliance with ASTM F963-11 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. While compliance with the F963-11 standard has been mandatory since June 2012, there has been no requirement to third-party test to the revised standard.

The CPSC will accept certifications to ASTM F963-11 based on third-party testing conducted prior to the effective date provided that:

  • The products were tested on or after February 22, 2012 (when the Commission approved ASTM F963-11 as a mandatory standard), and

  • The products were tested at a third party testing facility that is accredited to test to ASTM F963-11 on or after May 24, 2012 and before June 10, 2013.

The effective date was established with the agency’s recent approval of 16 CFR 1112, “Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies.”  In addition to the ASTM F963-11 change noted above, the rule makes several changes to the testing and certification requirements, two of which are of particular note to toy industry stakeholders:

  • The final Rule expands the allowed uses of XRF and HD-XRF technology for testing of lead content by third-party testing labs to include glass materials, crystals and some metals. (TIA reminds members that XRF technology must still be used with great care if it is relied upon as the sole method of confirming compliance).

  • An expansion of the definition of “firewalled lab” to encompass more types of laboratories

Finally, the CPSC has indicated that the finalized Rule 1112 has effectively changed the manner in which the CPSC will issue third party testing facility accreditation requirements for new and updated standards – including updates to ASTM F963. In the future, when the CPSC revises 1112, the revision will in effect be a “Notice of Requirements” for testing labs to accredit to the new or updated standard, triggering a 90-day period before manufacturers will be required to third party test and certify to the updated requirement. This is expected to reduce the current lag between the time that revisions of F963 become mandatory and when testing and certification to the new revision is required. 

Questions on this topic may be directed to Rebecca Mond, TIA director of federal government affairs (202.459.0352).