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Congressmen Higgins & Lee Announce News that New Consumer Product Safety Rules Will Protect Local Small Businesses & Consumers

Jan 12, 2009
Press Release

Congressmen Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Chris Lee (NY-26) announced that they have received an official communication from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicating that consignment or thrift stores are exempt from certain requirements under the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, scheduled to go into effect February 10th.

After receiving calls from concerned local business owners operating consignment or thrift stores in the Western New York area, Congressmen Higgins and Lee went to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and received assurances that while sellers of used children’s’ products may not knowingly sell defective products, they do not have a requirement to certify and test all products they are selling, a requirement local shop owners feared would put them out of business. 

“I am pleased to see that the commission understands the need to protect small businesses from regulations that may have jeopardized their ability to survive. I look forward to working with Congressman Higgins and the commission in the future to ensure our children are protected from harmful chemicals,” Congressman Lee said.

“I voted for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in Congress, support the measures it puts in place to protect children from exposure to dangerous toxins and I’m glad to relay this news which provides a relief to local business owners fearful about the future of their stores,” said Congressman Higgins.  “I will continue to work with Congressman Lee and others in the delegation to protect the best interests of Western New York businesses and residents.”

Below is the official communication from the CPSC:

News from CPSC

                U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs                                                                                       Washington, D.C. 20207

For Immediate Release                                 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772

January 8, 2009                                              CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Release #09-086

CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children’s Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in February

Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children’s Products, Thrift and Consignment Stores

Washington, D.C. – In February 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) take effect.  Manufacturers, importers and retailers are expected to comply with the new Congressionally-mandated laws.  Beginning February 10, 2009, children’s products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead.  Certain children’s products manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more that 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys.

Under the new law, children’s products with more than 600 ppm total lead cannot lawfully be sold in the United States on or after February 10, 2009, even if they were manufactured before that date. The total lead limit drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009.

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban.  Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

 The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold.  However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products. All resellers should check the CPSC Web site (www.cpsc.gov) for information on recalled products before taking into inventory or selling a product.  The selling of recalled products also could carry civil and/or criminal penalties.

The agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on products of greatest risk and largest exposure. While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws, resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories.  Among these are recalled children’s products, particularly cribs and play yards; children’s products that may contain lead, such as children’s jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children. 

The agency has underway a number of rulemaking proposals intended to provide guidance on the new lead limit requirements. Please visit the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov for more information.