Products Liability Law Daily CPSC seeks comments on safety standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs
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Friday, January 31, 2020

CPSC seeks comments on safety standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs

By Susan Engstrom

The agency is considering whether to modify its crib standards to minimize their impact on small businesses.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is conducting a review of the safety standards for full-size baby cribs and non-full-size baby cribs in accordance with section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which requires the agency to review, within ten years after their issuance, mandatory standards that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. CPSC is seeking comment to determine whether the crib safety standards should be maintained without change or modified to minimize significant impacts on small businesses, including manufacturers and suppliers. Written comments are due by March 31, 2020 (CPSC Proposed Rule85 FR 5587, January 31, 2020).

Initial rule. On December 28, 2010, CPSC issued the Safety Standards for Full-Size Baby Cribs (16 CFR part 1219) and Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs (16 CFR part 1220) under section 104(c) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The CPSIA stated that the crib standards would apply to certain persons (such as those owning or operating child care facilities and places of public accommodation), in addition to persons usually subject to consumer product safety rules. In its initial rule, CPSC determined that both crib standards would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, including manufacturers, importers, small retailers, and child care centers.

Current crib standards. The full-size baby crib standard currently incorporates ASTM F1169-19, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Baby Cribs, approved on March 15, 2019, as the mandatory CPSC standard [see Products Liability Law Daily’s July 23, 2019 analysis]. ASTM F1169-19 specifies performance requirements and test procedures to determine the structural integrity of full-size cribs. It also contains design requirements addressing entanglement on crib corner post extensions as well as requirements for warning labels and instructional material.

The non-full-size baby crib standard currently incorporates ASTM F406-17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs/Play Yards, approved on December 1, 2017, as the mandatory CPSC standard [see Products Liability Law Daily’s June 6, 2018 analysis]. ASTM F406-17 specifies the testing requirements for structural integrity and performance requirements for non-full-size cribs/play yards. It also provides requirements for labeling and instructional material.

Review of crib standards. Because the crib standards were promulgated ten years ago, CPSC is conducting a review pursuant to section 610(a) of the RFA. Section 610(a) lists several factors that the agency must consider, including: the continued need for the rule; the nature of complaints or comments received regarding the rule from the public; the complexity of the rule; the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other federal rules or with state and local governmental rules; and the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

CPSC is requesting comments relating to the crib standards’ safety and effectiveness; costs and impacts on suppliers; record keeping and third-party testing requirements; clarity and duplication; and outreach and advocacy. Specific questions presented by the agency include:

  • Are there any recent technological developments that would improve the effectiveness of the full-size or non-full-size crib standards?
  • Are there any sections of the crib standards that could be improved without reducing the stringency of the standards or reducing the safety of the resulting cribs?
  • Are there any requirements of the crib standards that are especially or unnecessarily costly and/or burdensome, particularly to small suppliers?
  • What percent of the time and cost of crib construction does compliance with the crib standards represent?
  • What modifications did manufacturers or others have to make to full-size and/or non-full-size crib models to comply with the requirements of CPSC’s crib standards?
  • What percent of the time and cost of complying with the crib standards does testing represent?
  • Are the record keeping requirements associated with third-party testing for conforming to the crib standards adequate, inadequate, or overly burdensome?
  • Is there any aspect of the crib standards that is unclear, needlessly complex, or duplicative?
  • Are the requirements in CPSC’s crib standards known to firms that manufacture or import cribs for the United States, particularly small firms and firms that build or import cribs infrequently or in small lots?

MainStory: TopStory ProposedRules BabyProductsNews

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