In May 2013, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) proposed to modify the regulations that govern how manufacturers and importers certify that consumer products comply with consumer product safety requirements implemented by CPSC. Under the current scheme, promulgated by CPSC, importers and domestic manufacturers must issue compliance certificates for consumer products subject to a CPSC product safety rule, ban, or standard, but are only required to provide them to the Customs and Border Patrol and CPSC upon request. The proposed rule would require that importers file compliance certificates for every imported product with CBP at the time of entry. It would also require that domestic manufacturers provide certificates in each product shipping container, or make electronic certificates available to CPSC by the time the product is distributed.
Under the proposed rule:
-Manufacturers and importers must maintain electronic certificates without password protection.
-Licensed customs brokers would be included within the definition of “importer of record.”
-Certificates of compliance would need to include the following:
ž Whether the product is a finished product or component part;
ž The date of initial certification;
ž The lot number, production dates, or other identifiers to indicate the set of products certified;
ž The date and address of manufacture; and
ž Identification of the manufacturer.
Retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and logistics providers across a variety of industries expressed significant concern over the burdens created by CPSC’s proposal. In recognition of these concerns, the CPSC held a workshop on Sept. 18 2014 to discuss the proposal. It seems likely that CPSC will not attempt to promulgate a Final Rule until at least next year.