President’s Letter – August 2, 2011:  Amending the CPSIA … What it Means for Your Business

August 2, 2011 |  It took barely ten months for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) – 160+ pages of the most sweeping changes in consumer protection laws to be made in thirty years – to make its way through both houses of Congress before being adopted in August 2008.  As the provisions of the law were implemented, it came as little surprise that some unintended consequences needed to be addressed.

Yesterday Congress acted decisively to cure those problems.

Just before adjourning last night, members of the U.S. Senate approved by Unanimous Consent an amendment to the CPSIA (H.R. 2715).  Earlier in the day the House had approved the same amendment with a strong, bipartisan vote of 421-2. 

As I write this letter, we are awaiting word that President Obama has signed the bill.  If and when the bill becomes law, three of the most important changes for toy companies will be:

  • The new 100ppm limit for accessible lead content will apply only to products manufactured after August 14, which is the effective date of that limit. Perfectly safe goods that comply with current standards and are currently available at retail can continue to be sold without additional requirement, testing and certification.
  • The limit on phthalates will not apply to any component parts of a toy that are not accessible to a child through reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of the product.
  • Existing third party testing requirements will remain in place, but within 60 days of enactment the CPSC must seek public comment on opportunities to reduce the cost of such testing; small batch manufacturers will get special consideration during this review.

A more detailed summary of the changes to the CPSIA and how they will affect toy companies has been posted to TIA’s CPSIA Resource Page.

Our representative form of government may not be speedy and it may not always be perfect … but it does work. 

For more than three years, TIA has worked alongside numerous other industry organizations to call for the adoption of legislation to fix the problems with the CPSIA.  We have suggested language that would cure the problems while preserving the important consumer product safety protections contained in the Act.  Our capable staff has been in daily contact with Members of Congress and their staffs to bridge differences among the interested parties.  And our members – along with others in the toy industry – met with Congressional representatives and reached out with more than 7,000 messages urging support of a much-needed amendment. 

HR 2715 is a victory for consumers, legislators, NGOs, and industry.  We can be proud of our collective efforts.  

Congratulations to all!

Warm regards,

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Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org