CPSIA Update: A New Request for Stay on Labeling Requirement

By July 2, 2009Regulations

In light of the arrival of new CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, the National Association of Manufacturers and the CPSC Coalition have submitted another request for an emergency, one-year stay of enforcement of Section 103 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which requires a new tracking label for children’s products made on or after August 14, 2009.

A request was first made on March 24, 2009, but on May 13 the two-member Consumer Product Safety Commission split one/one on the emergency stay. (Commissioner Nord voted yes, Commissioner Moore no.)

From the CPSC Coalition letter (copy here):

The Section 103 tracking labels provision is a novel manufacturing requirement in the United States and has raised legitimate questions about implementation, feasibility and the breadth of application. The lack of guidance or implementing rules has created an unconscionable dilemma for industry. Taking action now will provide the Commission, industry, and other product safety stakeholders time to work together to develop an orderly approach to this new requirement, maximizing the prospects for a tracking label system to be both useful and cost-effective for all stakeholders and minimizing the possibility of yet another economic crisis.

In Chairman Tenenbaum’s confirmation hearing testimony, she emphasized the importance of guidance in making sure the CPSIA worked effectively. But right there is nothing to guide manufacturers or retailers in implementing the tracking label requirements. Even if the CPSC produces the greatest guidance ever drafted within the next month, it will be impossible for business to put into place.

Chairman Tenenbaum can demonstrate her belief in the value and seriousness of CPSC guidance by voting to provide the necessary time, a one-year stay.

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