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Consumer Product Safety: Certification and Labeling
This is part of the law establishing and empowering the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and is the product of numerous revisions from 1972 through 2008. The text shown here is as codified in Chapter 47 of Title 15 of the U.S. Code.

 

 

 

Other provisions in the law that are included on CENTRAL cover these topics:

Note that many other provisions of the chapter that are less directly related to issues of trade compliance are not included here. These include inter alia provisions on CPSC procedures, its powers, and other matters.

 

See also related provisions of law concerning trade in hazardous products and products containing lead.

 

See also the CENTRAL guide to Security, Sanctions, and Compliance.

 

 

 


§2063. Product certification and labeling

(a) Certification accompanying product; products with more than one manufacturer

(1) General conformity certification.—Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), every manufacturer of a product which is subject to a consumer product safety rule under this chapter or similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other Act enforced by the Commission and which is imported for consumption or warehousing or distributed in commerce (and the private labeler of such product if such product bears a private label) shall issue a certificate which—

(A) shall certify, based on a test of each product or upon a reasonable testing program, that such product complies with all rules, bans, standards, or regulations applicable to the product under this chapter or any other Act enforced by the Commission; and

(B) shall specify each such rule, ban, standard, or regulation applicable to the product.

(2) Third party testing requirement.—Effective on the dates provided in paragraph (3), before importing for consumption or warehousing or distributing in commerce any children's product that is subject to a children's product safety rule, every manufacturer of such children's product (and the private labeler of such children's product if such children's product bears a private label) shall—

(A) submit sufficient samples of the children's product, or samples that are identical in all material respects to the product, to a third party conformity assessment body accredited under paragraph (3) to be tested for compliance with such children's product safety rule; and

(B) based on such testing, issue a certificate that certifies that such children's product complies with the children's product safety rule based on the assessment of a third party conformity assessment body accredited to conduct such tests.

A manufacturer or private labeler shall issue either a separate certificate for each children's product safety rule applicable to a product or a combined certificate that certifies compliance with all applicable children's product safety rules, in which case each such rule shall be specified.

(3) Schedule for implementation of third party testing.—

(A) General application.—Except as provided under subparagraph (F), the requirements of paragraph (2) shall apply to any children's product manufactured more than 90 days after the Commission has established and published notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with a children's product safety rule to which such children's product is subject.

(B) Time line for accreditation.—

(i) Lead paint.—Not later than 30 days after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with part 1303 of title 16, Code of Federal Regulations.

(ii) Full-size cribs; non full-size cribs; pacifiers.—Not later than 60 days after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with parts 1508, 1509, and 1511 of such title.

(iii) Small parts.—Not later than 90 days after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with part 1501 of such title.

(iv) Children's metal jewelry.—Not later than 120 days after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with the requirements of section 1278a(a)(2) of this title with respect to children's metal jewelry.

(v) Baby bouncers, walkers, and jumpers.—Not later than 210 days after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with parts 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a) of such title.1

(vi) All other children's product safety rules.—The Commission shall publish notice of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to assess conformity with other children's product safety rules at the earliest practicable date, but in no case later than 10 months after August 14, 2008, or, in the case of children's product safety rules established or revised 1 year or more after such date, not later than 90 days before such rules or revisions take effect.

(C) Accreditation.—Accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies pursuant to the requirements established under subparagraph (B) may be conducted either by the Commission or by an independent accreditation organization designated by the Commission.

(D) Periodic review.—The Commission shall periodically review and revise the accreditation requirements established under subparagraph (B) to ensure that the requirements assure the highest conformity assessment body quality that is feasible.

(E) Publication of accredited entities.—The Commission shall maintain on its Internet website an up-to-date list of entities that have been accredited to assess conformity with children's product safety rules in accordance with the requirements published by the Commission under this paragraph.

(F) Extension.—If the Commission determines that an insufficient number of third party conformity assessment bodies have been accredited to permit certification for a children's product safety rule under the accelerated schedule required by this paragraph, the Commission may extend the deadline for certification to such rule by not more than 60 days.

(G) Rulemaking.—Until the date that is 3 years after August 14, 2008, Commission proceedings under this paragraph shall be exempt from the requirements of sections 553 and 601 through 612 of title 5.

(4) In the case of a consumer product for which there is more than one manufacturer or more than one private labeler, the Commission may by rule designate one or more of such manufacturers or one or more of such private labelers (as the case may be) as the persons who shall issue the certificate required under paragraph (1), (2), or (3), and may exempt all other manufacturers of such product or all other private labelers of the product (as the case may be) from the requirement under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) to issue a certificate with respect to such product.

(5) Effective 1 year after August 14, 2008, the manufacturer of a children's product shall place permanent, distinguishing marks on the product and its packaging, to the extent practicable, that will enable—

(A) the manufacturer to ascertain the location and date of production of the product, cohort information (including the batch, run number, or other identifying characteristic), and any other information determined by the manufacturer to facilitate ascertaining the specific source of the product by reference to those marks; and

(B) the ultimate purchaser to ascertain the manufacturer or private labeler, location and date of production of the product, and cohort information (including the batch, run number, or other identifying characteristic).

(b) Rules to establish reasonable testing programs

The Commission may by rule prescribe reasonable testing programs for any product which is subject to a consumer product safety rule under this chapter, or a similar rule, regulation, standard, or ban under any other Act enforced by the Commission, and for which a certificate is required under subsection (a) of this section. Any test or testing program on the basis of which a certificate is issued under subsection (a) of this section may, at the option of the person required to certify the product, be conducted by an independent third party qualified to perform such tests, unless the Commission, by rule, requires testing by an independent third party for a particular rule, regulation, standard, or ban, or for a particular class of products.

(c) Form and contents of labels

The Commission may by rule require the use and prescribe the form and content of labels which contain the following information (or that portion of it specified in the rule)—

(1) The date and place of manufacture of any consumer product.

(2) The cohort information (including the batch, run number, or other identifying characteristic) of the product.

(3) A suitable identification of the manufacturer of the consumer product, unless the product bears a private label in which case it shall identify the private labeler and shall also contain a code mark which will permit the seller of such product to identify the manufacturer thereof to the purchaser upon his request.

(4) In the case of a consumer product subject to a consumer product safety rule, a certification that the product meets all applicable consumer product safety standards and a specification of the standards which are applicable.

Such labels, where practicable, may be required by the Commission to be permanently marked on or affixed to any such consumer product. The Commission may, in appropriate cases, permit information required under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection to be coded.

(d) Additional regulations for third party testing

(1) Audit

Not later than 10 months after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall by regulation establish requirements for the periodic audit of third party conformity assessment bodies as a condition for the continuing accreditation of such conformity assessment bodies under subsection (a)(3)(C).

(2) Compliance; continuing testing

Not later than 15 months after August 14, 2008, the Commission shall by regulation—

(A) initiate a program by which a manufacturer or private labeler may label a consumer product as complying with the certification requirements of subsection (a); and

(B) establish protocols and standards—

(i) for ensuring that a children's product tested for compliance with an applicable children's product safety rule is subject to testing periodically and when there has been a material change in the product's design or manufacturing process, including the sourcing of component parts;

(ii) for the testing of random samples to ensure continued compliance;

(iii) for verifying that a children's product tested by a conformity assessment body complies with applicable children's product safety rules; and

(iv) for safeguarding against the exercise of undue influence on a third party conformity assessment body by a manufacturer or private labeler.

(e) Withdrawal of accreditation

(1) In general

The Commission may withdraw its accreditation or its acceptance of the accreditation of a third party conformity assessment body accredited under this section if the Commission finds, after notice and investigation, that—

(A) a manufacturer, private labeler, or governmental entity has exerted undue influence on such conformity assessment body or otherwise interfered with or compromised the integrity of the testing process with respect to the certification of a children's product under this section; or

(B) such conformity assessment body failed to comply with an applicable protocol, standard, or requirement established by the Commission under subsection (d).

(2) Procedure

In any proceeding to withdraw the accreditation of a conformity assessment body, the Commission—

(A) shall consider the gravity of the conformity assessment body's action or failure to act, including—

(i) whether the action or failure to act resulted in injury, death, or the risk of injury or death;

(ii) whether the action or failure to act constitutes an isolated incident or represents a pattern or practice; and

(iii) whether and when the conformity assessment body initiated remedial action; and

(B) may—

(i) withdraw its acceptance of the accreditation of the conformity assessment body on a permanent or temporary basis; and

(ii) establish requirements for reaccreditation of the conformity assessment body.

(3) Failure to cooperate

The Commission may suspend the accreditation of a conformity assessment body if it fails to cooperate with the Commission in an investigation under this section.

(f) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Children's product safety rule

The term “children's product safety rule” means a consumer product safety rule under this chapter or similar rule, regulation, standard, or ban under any other Act enforced by the Commission, including a rule declaring a consumer product to be a banned hazardous product or substance.

(2) Third party conformity assessment body

(A) In general

The term “third party conformity assessment body” means a conformity assessment body that, except as provided in subparagraph (D), is not owned, managed, or controlled by the manufacturer or private labeler of a product assessed by such conformity assessment body.

(B) Governmental participation

Such term may include an entity that is owned or controlled in whole or in part by a government if—

(i) to the extent practicable, manufacturers or private labelers located in any nation are permitted to choose conformity assessment bodies that are not owned or controlled by the government of that nation;

(ii) the entity's testing results are not subject to undue influence by any other person, including another governmental entity;

(iii) the entity is not accorded more favorable treatment than other third party conformity assessment bodies in the same nation who have been accredited under this section;

(iv) the entity's testing results are accorded no greater weight by other governmental authorities than those of other third party conformity assessment bodies accredited under this section; and

(v) the entity does not exercise undue influence over other governmental authorities on matters affecting its operations or on decisions by other governmental authorities controlling distribution of products based on outcomes of the entity's conformity assessments.

(C) Testing and certification of art materials and products

A certifying organization (as defined in appendix A to section 1500.14(b)(8) of title 16, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation or ruling)) meets the requirements of subparagraph (A) with respect to the certification of art material and art products required under this section or by regulations prescribed under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (15 U.S.C. 1261 et seq.).

(D) Firewalled conformity assessment bodies

Upon request, the Commission may accredit a conformity assessment body that is owned, managed, or controlled by a manufacturer or private labeler as a third party conformity assessment body if the Commission by order finds that—

(i) accreditation of the conformity assessment body would provide equal or greater consumer safety protection than the manufacturer's or private labeler's use of an independent third party conformity assessment body; and

(ii) the conformity assessment body has established procedures to ensure that—

(I) its test results are protected from undue influence by the manufacturer, private labeler or other interested party;

(II) the Commission is notified immediately of any attempt by the manufacturer, private labeler or other interested party to hide or exert undue influence over test results; and

(III) allegations of undue influence may be reported confidentially to the Commission.

(g) Requirements for certificates

(1) Identification of issuer and conformity assessment body

Every certificate required under this section shall identify the manufacturer or private labeler issuing the certificate and any third party conformity assessment body on whose testing the certificate depends. The certificate shall include, at a minimum, the date and place of manufacture, the date and place where the product was tested, each party's name, full mailing address, telephone number, and contact information for the individual responsible for maintaining records of test results.

(2) English language

Every certificate required under this section shall be legible and all content required by this section shall be in the English language. A certificate may also contain the same content in any other language.

(3) Availability of certificates

Every certificate required under this section shall accompany the applicable product or shipment of products covered by the same certificate and a copy of the certificate shall be furnished to each distributor or retailer of the product. Upon request, the manufacturer or private labeler issuing the certificate shall furnish a copy of the certificate to the Commission.

(4) Electronic filing of certificates for imported products

In consultation with the Commissioner of Customs, the Commission may, by rule, provide for the electronic filing of certificates under this section up to 24 hours before arrival of an imported product. Upon request, the manufacturer or private labeler issuing the certificate shall furnish a copy to the Commission and to the Commissioner of Customs.

(h) Rule of construction

Compliance of any children's product with third party testing and certification or general conformity certification requirements under this section shall not be construed to exempt such children's product from any requirement that such product actually be in conformity with all applicable rules, regulation, standards, or ban under any Act enforced by the Commission.

(d) Requirement for advertisements

No advertisement for a consumer product or label or packaging of such product may contain a reference to a consumer product safety rule or a voluntary consumer product safety standard unless such product conforms with the applicable safety requirements of such rule or standard.