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Monday January 07, 2019

Available Comments on CPSC Recall Cards Are Supportive

Only a handful of responses, all supportive, were available to CPSC's proposal to update rules for registration cards for durable infant and toddler products. Given the proximity of the due date (December 24) to the start of the government shutdown, it was not clear if the number reflects all comments or if some are delayed. Posting is not automatic as agencies can review comments first. Indeed, the count (seven) versus available postings (five) suggests that at least two might be available later. The five:

  • A commenter who identified herself as a mother supported the move to clarify durable and otherwise praised the cards as giving her a sense of security regarding future recalls.
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  • A commenter who identified herself as a graduate student and a mother supported the clarity provisions and praised the move to bring other products under the scope, specifically pointing to infant slings.
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  • A commenter of unidentified affiliation supported the changes as improving clarity.
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  • A commenter of unidentified affiliation supported the clarity and scope items, but mostly wrote generally on protecting infants and worries about companies.
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  • A commenter of unidentified affiliation praised the underlying rules generally.

The purpose of the cards is to aid in contacting consumers in the event of a recall. The 2018 CPSIA established them. There are restrictions against uses like marketing aimed at alleviating consumers' resistance to filling them out.

 

The new proposal (PSL, 10/15/18) envisioned phasing in the changes on two tracks depending on whether companies will need time to adapt to newly-covered products. Most revisions would go into effect 30 days after finalization. They include steps to better clarify which products are in classes already subject to mandates. New categories would get 12 months. CPSC wrote that a year to get into compliance is consistent with the time given to products under the original rule in 2009. The changes would address:

 

Definition: CPSC added a phrase contained in the CPSIA (which authorized the rule) but not transposed into section 104(f) of 16 CFR 1130. It clarifies that a durable infant or toddler product must be understood in the context of "intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years."

 

Product Categories: Names in the original list of covered products do not always match those in the ASTM standards behind CPSC's section 104 rules. There are three updates:

  • Infant carriers would include the subsets of hand-held carriers, soft infant and toddler carriers, sling carriers, and frame child carriers.
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  • Bedside sleeper was deemed to be a subset of bassinets and cradles as they are subject to testing under the same standard (F2194). However, multi-mode products can make it unclear if the cards are necessary. CPSC would add "including bedside sleepers" to "bassinets and cradles" to avoid any confusion.
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  • Changing tables would be revised to baby changing products both for consistency with what ASTM calls them in F2388 and to ensure that items such as contoured changing pads or add-on changing components are understood to be subject to the cards rule.