March 17, 2009
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act: Update
On January 30, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) granted a one-year stay of testing and certification requirements for children's products (including books and other printed material) that are subject to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). This action, prompted in party by the Printing Industries of America and other allied industry partners, is a welcome step forward in relieving the industry of regulatory burdens associated with the CPSIA, but there are still a number of steps that need to be taken before Printing Industries wins its goal of an outright exemption for children's books and other printed material books.
In issuing the stay, the CPSC recognized that the original timetable could not reasonably be met by all affected industries. This Special Edition imPRINT summarizes what the stay DOES and DOES NOT do for printers. For your convenience, a summary suitable for printing is also available.
What Does the Stay Do for Printers?
- The stay does postpone the requirement for printers to test and certify their products against the new lead and phthalate standards. The new implementation deadline for testing and certification is February 10, 2010. Please refer to Printing Industries of America's FAQ for more information on the lead and phthalate standards.
- The stay does provide additional time for the Printing Industries of America to submit further information and test data to the CPSC in its quest to achieve a permanent exemption for ordinary children's books and other printed material from the CPSIA.
What Doesn't the Stay Do for Printers?
- The stay does not postpone the requirement for children's products to meet the lead and phthalate standards. This means that printers will not be able to legally manufacture or distribute children's products and/or toys and retailers will not be able to legally sell children's products unless they comply with the following limits:
- The current regulatory limits for lead are 600 parts per million dropping to 300 parts per million on August 14, 2009. These limits also apply to products in inventory, i.e., products manufactured before February 10, 2009.
- A permanent ban of no more than 0.1% applies to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl buty phthalate (BBP). This limit does not apply to products manufactured before February 10, 2009.
- An interim prohibition on children's toys that can be placed in a child's mouth or child care articles of no more than 0.1% applies to diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), or di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP). This limit does not apply to products manufactured before February 10, 2009.
- The stay does not prevent retailers, vendors, and other print customers from requesting printers to comply with the testing and certification requirements prior to February 10, 2010. While the request is not legally enforceable under the CPSIA, it may still be made.
- The stay does not postpone or relieve printers from the CPSIA's advertising and labeling requirements. Please refer to Printing Industries of America's FAQ for more information.
- The stay does not apply to testing and certification for coils or other components of children's books that may be subject to the lead-in-paint and other surface coatings requirements.
- The stay does not guarantee that state agencies will not enforce the CPSIA's testing and certification requirements, however, in the stay, the CPSC requested that state attorney generals "respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements [and] focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products."
While the stay does provide some temporary relief, it is far from a permanent solution. However, industry appreciates CPSC's recognition that the deadline was untenable and welcomes the expanded timetable to achieve a permanent exemption for ordinary books and printed material.
Printing Industries and its allies will continue to submit testing data and other requested information to ultimately make the case to the CPSC that ordinary children's books and other printed material are well below the new content requirements, and thereby should be permanently relieved from the content limits, testing and certification requirements of the CPSIA. As follow up to the recent industry/CPSC meeting, efforts to produce a thorough and adequate response to the Commission's latest request for data continue. On Capitol Hill, the Government Affairs team is advocating that Congress also urge the CPSC to fully consider industry data in issuing exemptions to the CPSIA. Absent of such permanent administrative relief as outlined under the CPSIA, legislative solutions may be considered. To date, Congressional majority leaders have stated they are not open to holding hearings nor opening the CPSIA for reconsideration, instead urging industry to pursue the exemption channels provided for in the CPSIA passed last year.
What Can Printers Do?
Printers can respond to the Printing Industries' call to action to urge the CPSC to consider the negative implications the CPSIA will have on the printing and graphic communications industry. Printers may also respond to the call to action to urge Congress to encourage the CPSC to take this consideration seriously. Customize the pre-written alert to let lawmakers and regulators know more about your business and how it may be affected by these new regulations. Thank you to those of you have taken action; currently, over 300 grassroots messages were sent in the month of January alone! Remember, the online Legislative Action Center on www.printing.org is available to all users; feel free to share the call to action with employees, industry peers and others who may be impacted by this issue.
Printing Industries will continue to keep you updated through weekly and special editions of imPRINT and on the CPSIA webpage at www.printing.org.
If you have a question about any of the issues above or other government affairs-related concerns please feel free to contact Andrew Wimer, Manager of Communications and Grassroots Advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 730-7974.
This article has later update articles: