CPSIA Update: Staying Enforcement Doesn’t Solve the Problem

By April 30, 2009Regulations

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has before it the question of whether to stay enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s lead-content limits for youth ATVs, a stay that could last as long as two years. The issue has been kicking around all month, and Commissioners Nord and Moore previously rejected a petition to exclude the vehicles from the law’s standards. Hence an enforcement stay, with a vote due by May 1.

The CPSC has been reduced to staying enforcement because Congress passed and President Bush last year signed badly written legislation that provides no administrative flexibility to its unreasonably strict limits on lead contents on any products for children 12 and under. Since Congressional leaders are unwilling to allow even a hearing on necessary changes, the commission says, in effect, “Well, it will still be against the law to sell the products, but we’ll just kind of look the other way.”

So the liability remains, doesn’t it? From the American Motorcycle Association:

The sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs is still technically illegal. Even though a stay means that dealers would not be subject to fines or penalties imposed by the CPSC, state attorneys general would still be able to prosecute violators if they chose to do so.

“Even if the CPSC commissioners do approve a stay, the vote won’t solve the bigger problem,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “Youth-model motorcycles and ATVs should be exempt from the law, and Congress needs to act to make that happen. We will continue to work with our partners in the industry and our friends in Congress to make certain that it does.”

What a lousy way of doing business.

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