CPSIA Update: Reaction from a Manufacturer on Tracking Labels

By May 15, 2009Regulations

Rick Woldenberg, chairman of Learning Resources, Inc., an Illinois-based educational toy manufacturer, is a leading organizer of the grassroots efforts calling for reform of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. As head of the Alliance for Children’s Product Safety, he reacted to the CPSC’s 1-1 decision to not grant a stay of enforcement of new tracking label requirements. From the news release, noting Commissioner Thomas Moore’s vote against the petition from the NAM CPSC Coalition.

We are deeply disappointed in Commissioner’s Moore vote to deny the petition. His vote will result in more chaos for manufacturers and retailers from this law – particularly for small businesses – who are already reeling from a difficult recession. The leaders of Congress should take note that Acting Chair Nord, in voting to approve the petition, showed the flexibility and leadership that had been urged in letters by Senator Mark Pryor (Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs), and other Members of Congress. It is time for these same Members of Congress to write and urge Commissioner Moore to do the same.

Because of a deluge of conflicting priorities caused by the CPSIA, the CPSC has yet to issue rules for implementing the label requirement that will take effect in three months, leaving little time for manufacturers to prepare. Even when the new rules are released, tracking labels will create practical problems for small businesses. Processing labels is expensive and adds significantly to the complexity of small production runs. In addition, some products have more than one source or are assembled from components made at different times. Small businesses are throwing up their hands over this new burden.

It is time for Congress to fix this law, which has caused massive economic damage because of its overly broad definition of children’s products, its unrealistic deadlines and its retroactive bans on the sale of existing inventory.

The NAM’s release is here, “NAM Says CPSC Decision Denying State of Labeling Rule Fosters Confusion and Uncertainty.”

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