On Friday, January 30, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a stay of enforcement of certain requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The Commission has decided that it will not enforce testing and certification requirements for new product rules, regulations, standards or bans until February 10, 2010. The primary purpose of the stay is to allow Commission staff sufficient time to address scientific issues raised by the new lead substrate and phthalate requirements and to provide home businesses and other small entities the opportunity to develop compliance programs.

However, children's product manufacturers are still required to comply with the underlying substantive requirements on lead substrate, phthalates and compliance with ASTM 963-7. In addition, all manufacturers and importers must follow the new certification requirements for CPSC standards existing prior to CPSIA, and children's products must be tested by a CPSC-accredited third-party lab for compliance with those pre-existing standards.

The stay on enforcement applies to CPSIA certification requirements for the following new standards:

  • Total lead content (lead substrate) limits;
  • Permanent and interim bans on phthalate content above 0.1%;
  • Compliance with ASTM F963-7 requirements, including limits on antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium and chromium in surface coatings.

As noted above, affected manufacturers and importers must still comply with the substantive requirements of those standards. In most cases, some testing will be necessary to ensure compliance, although the stay means that such testing need not be done by a CPSC-certified lab.

All new CPSIA certification and testing requirements remain in place for the following standards:

  • Existing certification requirements for garage door openers, bike helmets, metal-core candles, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses and swimming pool slides;
  • Testing and third-party certification requirements for:
    • Lead in paint and surface coating for products manufactured after December 21, 2008;
    • Crib and pacifier requirements for products manufactured after January 20, 2009;
    • Small parts testing for products manufactured after February 15, 2009; and
    • Lead in children's metal jewelry for products manufactured after March 23, 2009.

Note that, despite the stay, some retailers may still require full compliance with the CPSIA as a condition of doing business. CPSC's stay does not prohibit such contractual requirements.

The proposed Federal Register notice and statements of Acting Chairman Nord and Commissioner Moore can be found here.