Retailers play an important role in helping assure safety, especially under the CPSIA. Unfortunately, the law’s provisions about retroactivity and general enforcement by state attorneys general, among others, have led many retailers to demand testing beyond what is required.
To help fix that, I have been pushing for a Commission statement to reinforce the fact that retailers may rely on the testing and certification done by their suppliers.
How would this work? The CPSIA and its regulations require domestic manufacturers and importers of children’s products to have them: 1) tested by a third party testing laboratory approved by the CPSC; and 2) certify compliance with applicable safety regulations based on those tests. Importers may rely on testing done by foreign manufacturers as long as that testing was done in an approved lab.
My proposal is an enforcement policy to make clear that retailers may rely on certificates from suppliers and that they would not be subject to penalties for selling products that do not comply with our safety standards if they relied in good faith on those certificates. Issue a false or misleading certificate or give us a reason to believe the retailer knew or should have known that the certificate was false, and we can come after you. Should the product violate an applicable safety standard, of course it could be recalled.
Since I hope we can get this policy out next month, help us with your input:
- If you are a supplier, has a retailer required you to do redundant or excessive testing, or has a retailer refused to accept your test results?
- If you are a supplier, would such a statement be helpful? If not, what actions could the Commission take that would be helpful?
- If you are a retailer, would such a Commission statement be helpful?
- If you are a supplier or a retailer, what should be in this policy?
Speak up and help write this policy. Thanks!