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CPSC Hits Pause on Final "Certificates of Compliance" Rule

In response to a written request from 32 trade associations and issues raised by 58 public comments, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided at its public meeting this morning that it will seek further public input prior to finalizing a proposed amendment to its certificates of compliance regulation (often referred to as the “1110 rule”). For many CPSC stakeholders, this is welcome news and indicates their concerns are being taken seriously by the agency.

The amendment to the 1110 rule was first proposed in May of 2013 as an update to “clarify requirements [for certificates of compliance] in light of new regulations on testing” (we previously wrote about it here). It has been long rumored that the drafting of a final rule was behind schedule, but the agency’s 2014 Operating Plan stated that a final rule would be proposed to the Commission prior to the end of this fiscal year (September 30, 2014).

Halfway through each fiscal year, the CPSC reassesses and reallocates resources in its original Operating Plan by voting on a “Midyear Review and Proposed Operating Plan Adjustments” package proposed by agency staff. In this year’s package, the agency included the following provision regarding the 1110 rule: 

1110 Rule from [Final Rule] to [Data Analysis/Technical Review]: Staff recommends changing the 1110 Rule from [Final Rule] to [Data Analysis/Technical Review] in the FY 2014 mandatory standards work. The 1110 Rule [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] was published in FY 2013, and an [Fiscal Year] 2014 [Final Rule] was planned. Based on issues raised by commenters during the comment period, as well as requests from stakeholders, staff recommends reopening the comment period and conducting a public workshop with stakeholders to gain a better understanding of how to enhance the 1110 Rule more effectively. If the Commission concurs, staff will submit to the Commission a Federal Register notice to reopen the comment period and hold a public workshop during [Fiscal Year]Y 2014.

By changing the designation from “Final Rule” to “Data Analysis/Technical Review,” the agency is indicating that a final rule will not be submitted to the Commission this fiscal year (which ends on September 30, 2014). Instead the Commission will reopen the comment period for a public workshop to discuss the numerous issues raised in the letter from the trade associations and the public comments submitted in response to the proposed amendment.

Some of those issues include:

  • Requiring “at entry” filing of certificates of compliance for imported products
  • Switching the burden of issuing a certificate from domestic manufacturers to private labelers for domestically produced products
  • Requiring certificates for products subject to exemptions
  • Requiring certificates to show a product does not fall within the scope of a CPSC ban
  • Disallowing password protection for certificates made available on the internet
  • Expansion of the information required on certificates, including the names of foreign manufacturers

There is no date set for when the public workshop will take place but stay tuned here for that information as it becomes available. We will also be providing more information on the other components of the CPSC’s Midyear Operating Plan adjustments later this week.

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