On September 2, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the “CPSIA”) which imposes upon companies many new product safety restrictions.

Stiffer Enforcement and Penalties.

The CPSIA increases significantly government funding for product safety enforcement activity (both on the federal and state levels) as well as penalties to violators. Under the CPSIA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (the “CPSC”) funding will more than double and expand its authority to issue recalls, the law will expand state-level enforcement activity, and civil penalties will increase more than tenfold, to $100,000 for each violation, and the aggregate cap will increase to $15 million.

New Requirements for Children’s Products.

Other provisions of the CPSIA address children’s product safety. Those provisions include:

  • Limits on lead amounts that can be in children’s products and a stricter ban on lead paint;
  • Mandatory third party testing for certain children’s products;
  • Mandatory label tracking;
  • New standards and registrations of certain nursery products;
  • Mandatory labeling for advertising certain toys and games;
  • Adoption of certain industry standards until the CPSC evaluates those standards and establishes its own standards;
  • Funded study of preventable injuries; and
  • Prohibition on the sale of certain phthalate containing products.