By Kathleen Bianco, J.D.
Manufacturers of contoured changing pads have 12 months to come into compliance with updated requirements.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is amending the definition of "durable infant or toddler product" in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) to include the full statutory definition and to clarify the scope of the product categories included in the definition. The final rule is effective on October 24, 2019; however, an extended compliance date of September 24, 2020, has been provided for contoured changing pads, a subcategory of baby changing products in 16 CFR §1130.2(a)(14) (CPSC Final Rule, 84 FR 49947, September 24, 2019).
Background. Section 104 of the CPSIA, also known as the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires that for "durable infant or toddler products," CPSC must (1) issue a mandatory rule for each product based on the applicable voluntary standard; and (2) issue a rule requiring consumer registration for such products. In 2009, the agency issued a regulation to implement the second requirement, i.e., that manufacturers provide a means for consumers to register "durable infant or toddler products," so that consumers can receive direct notification in the event of a product recall. The rule is codified at 16 CFR part 1130, Requirements for Consumer Registration of Durable Infant or Toddler Products ("part 1130" or "the consumer registration rule").
The two aspects of section 104—consumer registration and product standards—are both based on the definition of "durable infant or toddler product" set forth in section 104(f) of the CPSIA: "durable products intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years." The statute lists 12 product categories included within the definition, such as cribs, toddler beds, high chairs, strollers, and swings. In a 2009 rulemaking, CPSC explained that the list of products in section 104(f) is not static and, at that time, the agency added six product categories to the 12 listed in the CPSIA (74 FR 68668 and 74 FR 68669, December 29, 2009).
Final rule. The final rule will make the following changes to part 1130 to clarify the products covered by the rule:
- State the full statutory definition of "durable infant or toddler product" in section 104(f)(1);
- Specify that the listed product categories are further defined in the applicable mandatory standards;
- List "sling carriers," "soft infant and toddler carriers," "handheld infant carriers," and "frame child carriers" as subsets of infant carriers to avoid confusion regarding whether they are subject to the consumer registration rule and to reflect each product category using the name of the applicable mandatory standard;
- Explain that "bedside sleepers" are a subset of bassinets to avoid confusion regarding whether they are subject to the consumer registration rule and to reflect the product name used in the mandatory standard; and
- Revise the term "changing tables" to "baby changing products" to reflect the product name used in the mandatory standard.
Because these revisions clarify the text of the rule and do not impose new burdens on any manufacturers, CPSC adopted a 30-day effective date for the addition of the statutory language in part 1130, as well as the clarifications to product categories.
Response to comments. CPSC received seven comments on the proposed rulemaking, but only one comment addressed a substantive issue; the remaining generally supported the proposal. The substantive comment challenged the proposed one-year effective date for compliance for contoured changing pads. The commenter opined that many manufacturers of contoured changing pads make other durable infant and toddler products and have registration programs in place. Furthermore, the commenter reasoned that because of technological advances, product registration programs should take no longer than six months to implement. While the CPSC agreed that many manufacturers of these contoured changing pads make other products subject to the consumer registration rule, the agency decided to leave the 12-month effective date intact in order to remain consistent with previous effective periods for new products subject to the consumer registration requirement in part 1130.
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