The following questions relate specifically to the CPSIA. Many of the questions are a result of the webinars held by NSF in October. We will continue to update the list as more questions come in and as more information is received from the CPSC.
Do the requirements of the CPSIA apply to products manufactured in the US or only those manufactured internationally and then imported?
The certification requirements in the CPSIA apply to those products subject to a Consumer Product Safety Rule and are imported for consumption or warehousing or are distributed in commerce, regardless of where the product is manufactured.
Who is responsible for determining if a product falls under the category of a "children's product"?
A children's product is defined by the CPSC as a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. In addition to the manufacturer's statement of intended use, other factors to consider are the product's representation in packaging, display, promotion, and advertising, how the product is commonly recognized by consumers, and the CPSC Age Determination Guidelines. The certification responsibility falls on the manufacturer; however, manufacturers can certainly ask for help from test labs or the CPSC when determining what requirements apply to their products.
Are there auditing requirements for the manufacturer?
The CPSIA does not have any auditing requirements for the manufacturers.
Does the CPSIA preempt all state requirements? Specifically California Prop 65?
The CPSIA is intended to preempt individual state requirements, however the commission is allowing states to submit for review safety standards that were in effect prior to Aug. 13, 2008. The commission will review the submissions and rule as to whether or not the state requirement will remain in effect.
The law does not preempt state labeling laws enacted prior to August 31, 2003, including California Proposition 65.
How will small manufacturers be affected by these regulations, such as those who sell products at farmer's markets and fairs?
The CPSIA is very clear that all consumer products subject to a standard, rule, or ban must comply with the requirements. All manufacturers, regardless of size, are required to have their products tested and issue certificates.
Who is responsible for issuing the certificate?
Each manufacturer, importer, and private labeler must issue a certificate of compliance for each product. Test labs cannot issue certificates for the requirements in Section 14.
Are certificates required for items other than children's products?
Yes, certificates are required for all consumer products subject to a standard, rule, or ban.
What is meant by sharing certificates?
Each manufacturer, importer, and private labeler must issue a certificate for each product subject to a standard, rule, or ban. In the case of products which have two or three parties required to issue the certificate, it is possible to issue one certificate which contains the identification and contact information for each party.
Where can I obtain a template for the certificate?
The CPSC has not mandated a form requirement for the certificate; however the certificate contents are mandated by the CPSIA. The contents of the certificate must be in English and include, at a minimum:
Should certificates be issued on letterhead?
It is not required that the certificates be issued on letterhead, however the manufacturer or private labeler name must be present on the document.
What about products produced prior to November 12, 2008? Do these need a certificate?
The CPSC has said that all products which are subject to an existing standard, rule, or ban and are manufactured on or after Nov. 12, 2008 must be certified and will require a certificate. For those products manufactured prior to Nov. 12, a certificate is not required.
Does a certificate have to be included in the container upon import?
A certificate must accompany each shipment. In addition, a copy of the certificate must be furnished to each distributer and retailer and must be made available to customs and the commission upon request.
Does the catalog labeling requirement apply to business-to-business and trade catalogs or only those catalogs and printed materials intended to be distributed to consumers?
The requirement is not clear, but the CPSC is considering this question and will provide further guidance. You can submit your comment on this subject directly to the CPSC.
How complicated is the cautionary statement required in catalogs?
Any product that is subject to the labeling requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), shall have that same cautionary statement included in advertisements which allow for direct purchasing, such as catalogs and internet websites.
What about catalogs that have already been printed and require labeling under the CPSIA?
The requirement for catalog labeling will go into affect on Feb. 10, 2009. The commission has recognized that the cost of discarding and reprinting any catalogs printed prior to Feb. 10 could potentially be high. The CPSIA does have a provision, which would allow the commission to provide a grace period of 180 days for catalogs printed prior to Nov. 10, 2009 to be distributed without violating the standard. In the commission's proposed rules, which are not yet approved, they are recommending the 180 day grace period. If approved, this would allow catalogs printed prior to Feb. 10, 2009 without cautionary labeling to be distributed until Aug. 9, 2009.
Does every item, regardless of size, require individual labeling?
The CPSIA requires that the manufacturer of a children's product place a permanent, distinguishing mark on the product and packaging to the extent practicable.
What are the size requirements for labels?
There are no size requirements recommended by the CPSC.
Could hangtags or adhesive labels be used for tracking labels on textile items?
No. Tracking labels must be permanent.
Is the tracking label requirement retroactive to existing inventory?
No. Those products manufactured on or after August 14 will require tracking labels.
Does each piece need to be marked with the tracking label information?
Each product and package needs one marking. It is not necessary to mark each separate piece that makes up a finished product.
My products do not have individual packaging, they are sold in a retail bin-box. How does this affect the tracking label?
The products each require a tracking label, and the retail box requires one.
What if the products are too small for tracking information, such as a jacks game?
If it is not practical to mark the product, marking the packaging is sufficient. The packaging should contain a statement urging the consumer to keep it because it contains important information.
Where can I view a list of CPSC-accredited, third-party labs?
The list of currently accredited third-party labs for the paint and surface coating testing requirement (16 CFR 1303) is available on the CPSC website. As the commission publishes its future third-party testing requirements, labs will apply for accreditation and the list will continue to be updated. NSF International is on the list of accredited labs for the CPSC.
Is third-party testing required for each shipment of new product?
The CPSC has not provided a rule for retesting frequency. Until a rule is issued, the testing frequency is left up to the manufacturer and test lab. If a change is made to the material or manufacturing process, retesting would be necessary, as well as periodic retesting to verify compliance.
Does testing to ASTM F963-07 ensure that my product meets all the requirements necessary to issue a certificate?
No. In addition to the requirements within ASTM F963-07, the CPSIA has additional requirements, such as total lead in substrates and phthalate testing that is required for children's products. Manufacturers are required to show compliance with any standard, rule, and ban applicable to their products.
What does NSF require for retesting frequency?
Retesting will depend on the type of product and individual circumstances of each manufacturer, such as retailer requirements. Generally, if any changes are made in materials, suppliers, design, or manufacturing process, retesting would be required. If no changes are made, NSF recommends at least annual retesting to verify compliance.
Will the CPSC accept prior testing results for 16 CFR 1303?
Prior testing data will be acceptable if:
Do I need to test every product even if several of my products are made from the same materials?
The CPSC has said that it is acceptable to certify products based on a reasonable testing program including testing common materials once to certify them for the entire product line. This would generally apply to the chemical test requirements such as lead, heavy metals, and phthalates for materials used throughout a product line.
What if I have inventory in a warehouse that does not comply with a particular requirement when it becomes effective? Can I still sell these products?
The lead and phthalate requirements will apply to inventory products after the CPSIA issued stay has either been lifted or is subject to change once the CPSIA has determined the set regulations. The CPSIA makes it unlawful to sell, manufacture for sale, distribute in commerce, or import products which do not comply with the requirements.
Products subject to the requirements of ASTM F963-07 will be required to comply if they are manufactured on or after the effective date.
These answers were provided based on our knowledge at the time the questions were asked and are "as is." The CPSC has the authority to make rulings and clarification regarding the contents of the CPSIA. NSF will not be held responsible for action taken because of the information found here. These frequently asked questions are a resource only and do not constitute professional advice from NSF.