In response to widespread criticism that the original deadline of February 10, 2009 set an unrealistic timetable for compliance, the Consumer Products Safety Commission deferred the deadline for companies to test children's products for lead content for one year. Lawmakers plan to introduce legislation exempting some small businesses from CPSIA and requiring the Commission to clarify the confusion created by the law.
Despite this reprieve for many businesses, manufacturers can still face criminal and civil penalties for selling non-compliant products, even though they are not required to rigorously test or certify them yet. Manufacturers are also still required to test children's jewelry, cribs, paint and small parts of products with lead content that may break off. Manufacturers should determine what provisions of the CPSIA are not impacted by the stay, and all businesses should watch for any new legislation that may exempt them from the expensive compliance requirements of the Act. Click here for the official announcement of the stay on the Commission's website.