Responding to efforts by a number of industry groups, on December 28, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") posted a Federal Register notice announcing its continuation of the stay of enforcement of the third-party laboratory testing and certification required under section 14 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 ("CPSIA"). The stay was continued until February 10, 2011. The continued stay involves a discrete group of products, including children's toys and child care products with banned phthalates, toys subject to ASTM's F-963 standards, baby walkers, electrically operated toys, youth all-terrain vehicles, carpets and rugs, vinyl plastic film, and children's sleepwear. Most importantly, the stay was continued for the third-party testing and certificate of the lead content limit that applies to all children's products.

For most products subject to CPSIA jurisdiction, however, the current stay will expire February 10, 2010. For domestic manufacturing and importers of non-children's products, there is no obligation to obtain third-party laboratory certifications; only general conformity certificates ("GCCs") declaring compliance with the pertinent CPSC statute, regulation, bar, limit or rule are required. For a detailed list of effected products, see www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10083.html.

For pharmaceutical clients, it is important to note that the stay of requirements for GCC for products subject to regulations under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act ("PPPA") will end February 10, 2010. This applies to products manufactured after February 10, 2010, and not to products in inventory. For consumer goods clients, the CPSC affirmed that no GCCs are required for products subject to the labeling requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. All clients should note that even though the stay of third-party testing laboratory and certification requirements for the identified products has been continued, all of the underlying bars and limits of the CPSIA remain in effect.

The CPSC also announced an interim enforcement policy allowing component testing. As a result, domestic manufacturers and importers having CPSIA section 14 certification obligations will now have the option of obtaining test reports from approved third-party testing laboratories showing that, for example, each paint on a product complies with the 90ppm lead paint limit on each accessible component part meets the 300ppm lead limit, or obtaining test reports from their discrete paint or component supplier declaring the required compliance.