Does the Fix Need a Fix?

On February 5, I wrote here that the Congress was considering making changes to the CPSIA. That’s moved to the next step: the five CPSC Commissioners have now been asked to comment on draft legislation to address the unintended consequences of the CPSIA.  Because it has not yet been introduced, it is not officially available but you can read the draft bill analyzed in several blogs including Learning Resources and Shopfloor.

For almost two years we have been talking about the problems with this well-intended but flawed legislation.  I am so pleased that Congress is now willing to begin the process of fixing some of the problems with this law.  While some proposed language is helpful,  my reading overall is the fixes do not meet the mark with respect to focusing on the real safety risk.

I would like to hear from you about this draft legislation—both its strengths and shortcomings , as well as what needs to be done to make this law the helpful consumer protection tool it was envisioned to be.


2 Responses to “Does the Fix Need a Fix?”

  1. 1 TS March 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Mr. Hertzler,

    I agree with your comment on this proposed resolution for mark up, but after following the link back to your website, which I assume you are the proprietor of or for whom you work, your products intended for children 3-6 years and containing small parts were not labeled to warn consumers of the presence of small parts (CSPA labeling).

    This is what is frustrating in the industry. Where companies have the full ability to comply with the laws and regulations currently in place, some disregard them or fail to apply them to the products they were intended for. Yet, these same companies ask for support and leniency from Congress and the CPSC. Follow the rules that are in place before asking for leniency from the broader and more difficult requirements in the law.

    Your goods, because they comply with European requirements are not covered in the US. The “strike through” under three years marking on your products do not replace the small parts labeling in CSPA in the US. CPSIA requires that internet retailers display the small parts warning in a place visible to the consumer at the point of purchase, just as if the product were sold at a retail store.

    Again, why would we be granted any consideration if we cant follow the rules currently in place?


  2. 2 Randy Hertzler March 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Thank you for being open to comment about the draft legislation to address problems with the CPSIA. I wish our own “representatives” were as eager to hear comments from those of us directly affected.

    I continue to be astonished by attempts to fix legislation that is too broad with a myriad of exemption possibilities. The number of “but if”s is becoming impossible to digest and garner nourishment from. Meanwhile, those of us affected by the CPSIA are starving, hoping to survive. The focus on safety is becoming completely lost!

    In this particular case, the definition of a “low volume manufacturer” is so small it will only apply to the smallest crafters – and then force them through; request, proof, public comment and labeling hoops. It will certainly be a trickle that makes it to a successful conclusion for safety and for business.

    My largest disappointment is that this congressional committee refuses to address the issue of European Union (EU) / CPSIA harmonization. Over two years we have seen the effects of the trade barrier that the CPSIA places on children’s products from the EU – they have gradually left the US market. Requiring EU manufacturers who already test to very similar standards (and have been for many years) to do it all over again, differently this time, just to enter our market severely limits the choice of consumers in the USA looking for specialty products. In effect, the CPSIA compels these consumers to choose mass produced products which, ironically, is the birthplace of the CPSIA. Again, here the CPSIA is doing nothing for safety.

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