Scheduled to meet February 12, 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will discuss proposed changes to 16 C.F.R. part 1101, which interprets Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) governing CPSC’s disclo- sure of information to the public. Under the law, CPSC must notify manufacturers or private labelers about consumer product information that will be disclosed, if the information “will permit the public to ascertain readily the identity of [the] manufacturer or private labeler.”The law also requires CPSC to “take reasonable steps to assure” that the information to be disclosed “is accurate, and that [its] disclosure is fair in the circumstances and reasonably related to effectuating the purposes of [the CPSA].”
The proposed changes to the regulatory text would update it to account for advances in information technology since its initial adoption in 1983, streamline relevant procedures and refine provisions addressing information subject to certain legal privileges. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is apparently driving some of the proposed changes because it shortened the advance notice period from 30 to 15 days, eliminated a required Federal Register notice when CPSC finds that public health and safety necessitate public disclosure in a lesser period of time and broadened statutory exceptions. The proposed regulatory revisions would also reflect Section 6(b) changes that allow CPSC to publish product information without notifying manufacturers when the information is already public.
If approved, the proposal would be published the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day public comment period. See CPSC Staff Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, January 14, 2014; Federal Register, February 6, 2014.