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Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008

Effective Nov, 12, 2008

What is it?

It is a new requirement that became law on August 14, 2008 under the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008. The law requires that manufacturers and importers must certify in writing that any products being imported for warehousing and/or consumption must conform with the rules, bans, regulations or standards administered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The certification must be based upon a test of each product or upon a "reasonable testing program".


What Products Does The New Law Apply To?

This requirement applies to almost every category of consumer goods including, but not limited to: Fabrics Wearing Apparel Toys Jewelry Sporting Goods Refrigerators Furniture Hazardous Materials All-Terrain Vehicles Pharmaceuticals Subject To Child-Resistant Cap Standards

* Certain products that are imported for testing, for trade shows or for re-export, etc. may be excluded from the requirement. The certification requirement WOULD apply if any of these products were later sold for consumption in the United States.

*A separate certificate (or certificates) is required for each product in the container. If no certificate is issued, or if a false certificate is found to be on hand, the shipment maybe refused admission and may be destroyed.


Who Must Certify?

Every Manufacturer of a product that is subject to a consumer product safety rule, ban, standard or regulation and is imported for consumption, warehousing, or is distributed in commerce must certify. The term "manufacturer" applies to importers as well as foreign and domestic manufacturers. In the even that the product bears a private label, the private labeler would also be required to issue a certificate. If the product is imported, the foreign manufacturer and the importer both must certify unless the Commission, by rule, exempts one or the other of the responsibility. They can certify jointly if they choose, but if the importer is not listed on the manufacturer's certification, then the importer will still be responsible for preparing their own certification. Test labs will not be able to issue section 14 certifications.


What Kind Of Testing Is Required?

Certification must be based on a test of each product or upon a "reasonable testing program". The testing must provide reasonable assurance that the product meets all requirements of the standard. Testing should be stringent enough to detect variations that would cause a product to fail. The Commission may prescribe a reasonable testing program and may require that an independent third party perform the testing. For children's products, Congress set a schedule under which all certification must eventually be based on third party testing.


What Needs To Be On The Certification?

The certification must include the full contact information of the manufacturer and the importer, as well as the person maintaining the records of the test results upon which the certification is based. It must reference the specific standard to which the product is subject and it must indicate the place and date of manufacture.


Electronic Certificates of Conformity

Importers and manufacturers will have the option to provide the certificates of conformity that will be required for all consumer products via electronic means. CPSC must have reasonable access to the certificate electronically and the certificate must contain all of the required information. The electronic certificate still must accompany the shipment. It will be considered to be "accompanying" if:

  • the certificate is identified by a unique identifier and can be accessed via a World Wide Web URL or other electronic mean AND

  • the URL or other electronic means and the unique identifier are created in advance and are available with the shipment.


When Does This Go Into Effect?

This new law goes into effect on November 12, 2008. Thus, any products manufactured on or after November 12th of this year will be subject to proper certification.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

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