I recently wrote about the status of the stay of enforcement (SOE) of the lead content testing and certification requirements of the CPSIA. Unless the CPSC acts, the SOE lifts on February 10, in 3 weeks. We have received a number of petitions and requests to extend the stay. Although specific action has not yet been taken – on either these petitions or my request for a Commission meeting on these issues – I can assure you there have been a lot of conversations going on and serious thought being given to this impending problem.
I believe that, as we address the SOE, we need to be mindful of its relationship to the component parts proposed rule and the proposed testing and certification rule (the “15 month rule”). Commissioners have pointed to the availability of component testing as a way of easing the significant testing burden on final product makers, especially small crafters. We have heard from some component makers that they are not planning to third party test and certify until they understand the rules of the road and can make a rational business-based decision. It is understandable that a component parts manufacturer would not want to do the initial third party testing and certification without understanding what its continuing testing responsibilities may be. On the other hand, perhaps there are some component makers who are willing to take on this unknown liability. We just do not know.
Whether this is resolved in a public discussion as I requested, or otherwise, we need to reach a decision ASAP.