On Friday, CPSC released a Notice of Inquiry seeking public comment on possible requirements for the tracking labels that will be required on all children's products and packaging as of August 14, 2009. CPSC seeks comments on a number of questions that will help them formulate the contents of the final rule outlining those requirements.

Compliance with this provision will require, to the extent practicable, permanent labels or markings on the product and packaging that identify:

  • the manufacturer/importer or private labeler;
  • the date and place of manufacture;
  • cohort information (batch or run number or other identification of specific production lot).

This information must be ascertainable by the ultimate purchaser.

CPSC has asked for comment on the following issues:

  • the circumstances under which compliance is impracticable, and whether different standards should apply to labeling and packaging;
  • whether tracking labels be subject to uniform nomenclature and format;
  • how consumers might be effected by the use of non-uniform nomenclature and format;
  • whether tracking labels be permitted to use alpha-numeric or other codes with a reference key available to the public;
  • whether tracking information be required to be in electronically readable form, and, if so, on what items would this be most beneficial and what technological format should be used.
  • where a private labeler is used, how should manufacturers provide the required information to the consumers (e.g., internet, toll-free number, point of sale).
  • how much lead time will be necessary for a prescribed format;
  • whether existing models, e.g., the November 2008 EU/China feasibility study, can be used, either in whole or in part.

Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, which should place the due date around the last week in April.

REMINDER RE PHTHALATE COMMENTS

CPSC's draft guidance on scope and enforcement of the CPSIA phthalate limits will be published in the February 23 Federal Register. Therefore, comments will be due on or before March 25, 2009.