CPSC Public Meeting on
Testing & Certification
The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) held a public meeting October 2,
2008 at CPSC headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The participants
discussed the requirement for certification of general conformity
assessment with all applicable requirements under any of the
Acts administered by the CPSC which becomes effective in November
of this year. This meeting also followed up on the issues
discussed at the public meeting on the Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act (CPSIA) on September 4, 2008, regarding the
accreditation of laboratories for third-party testing. In
addition, Commission staff provided guidance on the scope
of the statutory requirement for third-party testing and the
products covered and when these certification requirements
go into effect.
The following is a report
of the meeting. For additional questions with regard to the
new U.S. consumer goods legislation, please contact your personal
Intertek representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Conformity Certification
Presenter: John "Gib" Mullan
Director of Compliance and Field Operations
Types of Certificates
- General certification
("suppliers declaration of conformity") - §14(a)(1)
Consumer Product Safety Act
- General conformity certificates will be required for products
manufactured on or after November 12th, 2008.
- Third party certification
(declaration of conformity based on testing by a CPSC recognized
3rd Party Testing Lab)
- §14 (a)(2) Consumer Product Safety Act
- Products without a
certificate or with a false certificate will be destroyed;
unless the Secretary of Treasury permits export.
- All products subject
to CPSA (Consumer Product Safety Act) bans as well as any
"similar rule, ban, standard or Regulation under
any other Act enforced by the Commission." In short,
if your product is subject to a mandatory standard, you
must attest that it complies with that standard through
- The products that
are "subject to" a standard or ban is spelled
out in the regulation, i.e. 16 CFR 1303 - lead paint ban
where surface coatings on children's products, furniture
and paint are regulated.
- A product may be subject
to a standard but exempt from testing, these products still
must be certified, i.e. heavy fabric (weight > 2.6oz/yd2)
for 16 CFR 1610.
Rules, bans, standards
or regulations that are similar to the CPSA rules
- FHSA bans and requirements
adopted by the Commission -- not bans solely defined by
statute as (banned hazardous substances by definition).
- FHSA labeling rules
adopted by the Commission.
- Flammable Fabrics Act
- Poison Prevention Packaging
Act (PPPA) requirements.
- Refrigerator Safety
Act (RSA) standard.
- Voluntary standards
do not require general certification unless they are made
officially mandatory by the Commission
Examples of Future
"Similar" Rules Captured by "General Certification"
- New lead content limits
when phased in.
- New standards for
durable toddler and infant products when adopted by the
- Portions of ASTM F963-07
when made mandatory
- Phthalate bans upon
their effective date of implementation
Issuer of Certificate
- A test report is not
- Your testing laboratory
cannot issue a certificate.
- A certificate must
be issued by "every manufacturer" of a product
that is subject to a consumer product safety rule or similar
rule, ban, standard or regulation and which is "imported
for consumption or warehousing" or "distributed
- Certification, in
the meaning of §14 of the CPSA, is a first-party attestation.
- The term "manufacturer"
includes importers as well as foreign and domestic manufacturers.
- If the product bears
a private label, the private labeler must also issue a certificate.
- For example, when
a product is imported - both the manufacturer and the importer
- When a product that
is imported bears a private label, a certificate must be
issued by the manufacturer, the importer and the private
- Exemptions: products
imported for testing or trade shows do not require a certificate
if they are not intended to be distributed in commerce.
Content of Certificates
- Certificates must
specify, in English:
- The manufacturer or private labeler issuing the certificate
and any third party on whose testing the certificate depends,
by name, address and phone number.
- The date and place where the product was manufactured
and the date and place of testing.
- The contact information for the person maintaining test
- Each applicable standard, ban, etc. that is applicable
to the product.
- The certificate may include other information and/or the
same information in other languages.
- The certificate must
accompany each product or shipment of products that are
covered by the certificate.
- If a shipment contains
multiple types or styles of products, a certificate must
be available for each style. For example, if a master carton
contains 4 inner cartons (each inner carton containing 2
style of product) - a total of 8 certificates must accompany
the master carton.
Presenter: Robert "Jay" Howell
Acting Director of Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction
The requirement for certification
based on third-party testing by a laboratory listed by the
CPSC on their website applies to every children's product
that is subject to a "children's product safety rule."
The term "children's product safety rule" is defined
broadly to include any standard or ban under the CPSA or any
"similar rule, regulation, standard or ban" under
any other Act enforced by CPSC, including a rule declaring
a consumer product to be a banned hazardous substance. The
following information on laboratory accreditation pertains
primarily to the process by which laboratories will be listed
and registered by CPSC.
- The lab must be accredited
to ISO 17025 by an ILAC full member (signatory).
- The scope must include
the specific CPSC regulations.
- The recognized labs
will subsequently be listed on the CPSC website upon completion
of the online registration (see process below).
- Currently, the online
process is only available for testing per 16 CFR 1303.
- As new guidelines
for 3rd party accreditation are published in the Federal
Register for the children's product safety rules, the registration
process will have to be repeated for each rule.
- Online application:
- Supporting documents
should be sent to: email@example.com
- CPSC staff will review
- The applicant will
be notified, followed by being published on the CPSC website.
- For non-government
owned labs, the CPSC registration process should take
4-5 business days (if all supporting documentation is
- For government owned
labs, the registration process for the initial safety rule
(16 CFR 1303) may take longer than the process for non-government
Withdrawal of Accreditation/CPSC
- Actions that may result
- Undue influence
- Interference with
- Factors of consideration:
- Results of the
- Frequency of these
- Corrective actions
- Auditing rules will
be published in 10 months.
- After 15 months, more
rules will be added:
- Marking program
- Periodic testing
- Random testing
- Verification of
- Safeguards to
prevent undue influence over labs
Mandatory Third Party
Presenter: Cheryl Falvey
General Counsel, CPSC
Third Party Testing Methods
for Children's Products
- Method for third-party
testing depends on the standard, ban or similar rule applicable
to the children's product.
- For the regulations
that do not include specific methods, the CPSC will be providing
Example of the Third party
a. Manufactured December 22, 2008
- Certify to lead paint
b. Manufactured April
- Certify to lead paint
ban and small parts regulations
c. Manufactured August
- Certify to lead paint
ban, small parts regulations and lead content limits
d. Manufactured October
- Certify to all applicable
children's product safety rules -includes all of the above
plus phthalates, F963, the rattle test method
Q. What is a "Reasonable
A. CPSC did not provide specifics of what would be considered
a "reasonable testing program" for CPSIA. Gib informed
that in the future the CPSC may provide guidelines to be followed
as part of a "reasonable testing program".
Q. Is composite testing
(both for lead and phthalates) allowed?
A. Composite testing is not allowed for lead in surface coatings,
lead in substrates, or phthalates. Further confirmation will
be provided by the CPSC during the public meeting on Nov 6.
Q. Are certificates
for sub-components (i.e. YKK zippers) accepted?
A. The certificates of compliance supplied by a component
manufacturer will not be accepted. As per CPSIA, the certificate
of compliance has to be based on the testing of the end/final
For more information about
product safety, you may ask Intertek expert by filling in