TIA Analysis Challenges PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland Reports

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently conducted an in-depth review of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Trouble in Toyland reports issued between 2008 and 2013. The TIA’s analysis found that PIRG’s reports were based on improper testing methods that are not approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and fail to support PIRG’s allegations that the identified toys present any danger to children at play.

Under federal legislation passed in 2008, toys sold at retail must be tested by a CPSC-accredited third-party testing lab, in order to prove compliance with more than 100 safety standard requirements. TIA’s examination, however, found that U.S. PIRG’s toy hazard claims and testing procedures over the past six years were not approved by the CPSC, and did not follow the same procedures that toy companies are required to follow by law.

Chiefly, none of the alleged safety issues named in PIRG’s reports were based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accredited lab; and out of the 88 products identified in PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland reports over the last six years, the CPSC has not recalled any toys as a result of PIRG’s allegations. In addition, 20 percent of the products named in PIRG’s reports between 2008 and 2013 are not classified as toys, and therefore are not governed by the same safety standards as children’s toys.

A copy of the complete TIA analysis of the 2008 to 2013 reports is available at the TIA website.

CPSC to Hold Briefing on Proposed Phthalate Rule Change on December 5

CPSCThe U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will hold a briefing on a proposed rule change that would prohibit the use of certain phthalates in children’s toys and childcare articles. As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the briefing, which will be held on December 5, comes after the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) released a final report this past July, which detailed the potential health effects of phthalates and phthalate alternatives. Following the report, the CPSC had 180 days to propose a regulation change.

The CPSC proposal would expand the interim ban of DINP to a permanent ban in quantities greater than 0.1 percent in all children’s toys and childcare articles. It also calls for a continuation of the current permanent ban of DEHP, DBP, and BBP above 0.1 percent in all accessible toy and child care article components. The proposal would also lift existing interim prohibitions on DIDP and DnO.

A decision will be made whether to adopt the CHAP’s recommendations during a CPSC meeting scheduled for December 17. Any questions may be directed to Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs, at (646) 520-4868.

XOS to Sponsor Free CPSIA Compliance Webinar

XOS will sponsor a free webinar on November 11 to address how the promotional products industry is impacted by current and upcoming compliance testing requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

The hour-long presentation will provide an updated overview of new and proposed Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations and requirements pertaining to the testing and certification of children’s and other products. It will also offer an overview of recent state regulatory developments and concrete information about the areas of highest regulatory risk for makers and sellers of all consumer products.

Specific topics will include strategies to avoid administrative costs and compliance risks; the latest intelligence regarding new CPSC commissioners and agency penalty policies, port enforcement, and field investigation activities; information on CPSC’s approval of HDXRF for lead testing in children’s products as well as lead certification testing of surface coatings; and more.

Quin Dodd, product safety law attorney and former Chief of Staff for the CPSC, will be a featured speaker. His talk will be followed by a brief description of HDXRF technology presented by XOS Director of Sales, Satbir Nayar. Registration is required for this free event.

Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese Manufacturers Scheduled for November

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will present two Toy Safety Training Programs for Chinese manufacturers this fall. TIA has partnered with Mattel in planning these events and Mattel will provide on-site logistical support. The programs will include up-to-date reviews of U.S. toy safety standards, testing, and conformance requirements to assist local manufacturers licensed to experts toys and children’s products. The programs will take place in Hong Kong on November 17 and Shenzhen on November 18.

The session in Hong Kong will be co-presented by the TIA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Hong Kong Toys Council. Speakers will be from Mattel and The Federation of Hong Kong Industries. The Shenzhen session held on the following day will be co-presented by the TIA, the State Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China, the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the CPSC. Speakers will be from Mattel and the China Toy and Juvenile Products Association. [Read more...]

TIA Presents Toy Safety Seminar for Chinese Manufacturers

Toy Industry Association (TIA)tia_logo[1] will co-present a Toy Safety Seminar on October 18 in Shanghai, China as part of its ongoing commitment to industry education. Since 1996, the TIA has conducted such seminars to provide factories with information on the most up-to-date U.S. standards, testing, and conformance requirements. This year, representatives from the TIA, along with experts from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the industry, will share their practical understanding of the requirements. CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum will also give  key presentation.

The upcoming Toy Safety Seminar will cover key toy safety information and U.S. compliance requirements such as:

  • U.S. toy safety standards and regulations, including recent legislative changes and their impact on Chinese manufacturers and suppliers.
  • The role of the CPSC as the lead U.S. government body responsible for monitoring and enforcing toy safety in the U.S.
  • Necessary elements of a factory quality program.
  • Emerging issues and hazards and how they are being addressed.
  • Ensuring material safety and reporting.

XOS Sponsors Free Webinar to Maximize CPSIA Compliance While Minimizing Costs Under New Testing Requirements

xoslogoXOS will sponsor free webinar on September 26 at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar’s featured speaker is attorney Quin Dodd, noted CPSIA expert and former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Dodd will provide an overview of new and proposed CPSC regulations and requirements pertaining to the testing and certification of toys and other consumer products. He will also provide concrete suggestions for maximizing compliance while minimizing testing, administrative costs, and compliance risks. Following Dodd’s presentation, Satbir Nayar of XOS, will provide a brief overview of High Definition XRF (HDXRF) technology, with regard to reducing the cost and increasing the effectiveness of heavy metals testing programs.

Combined, the presentations will cover and overview of the current and complex CPSC Testing and Certification Rules, including the 1107, 1109, 1110, and 1112; the proposed new 1110 Certification Rule that may significantly change the who, how, and what of CPSC certificates; strategies to avoid administrative costs and compliance risks with the existing and proposed rules; strategies to minimize the cost and burden of both third-party and in-house (“production”) testing, especially for the CPSC heavy metals limits; and the latest intel regarding the new CSPC commissioners and agency penalty policies, port enforcement, and field investigation activities and tips to avoid problems with any of these. The session will then open up to questions for either of the speakers.

To register for the webinar, click here.

CPSC Filing Requirements Could Add $18.7 Million Burden on Industry

Proposed changes to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) certificate of compliance requirements could add complexities and significantly alter the way most companies manage their logistics for inbound freight to the U.S., according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The changes could more than double compliance costs for children’s product companies—from an approximate $15 million annual spent to comply with current certification requirements to nearly $34 million annually. Comments on the proposal are due to the CPSC by July 29.

Under the amended rule, companies that import regulated finished products manufactured outside of the U.S. would be required to file product certificates electronically with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation in conjunction with other customs entry documents. Additionally, certifications would have to be identified prominently on the finished product, shipping carton, or invoice with a unique identifier and be accessible online without password protection.

TIA will be submitting comments to the CPSC by the deadline regarding the content requirements of the certificate, the economic impact of the certification rule, the logistics of electronic certification, and more. Members may contact TIA’s Rebecca Mond with any feedback to be included in the submitted comments, or to receive additional information about the rule’s impact. Comments on behalf of individual companies may be submitted directly to the CPSC at www.regulations.gov (docket number CPSC-2013-0017).

ISO Meetings Explore Toy Safety Guidelines

Courtesy of the Toy Industry Association

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Toy Safety recently held meetings to discuss the development of global age determination guidelines for toys, based largely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines from 2002. The meetings, which were held in Tokyo, also discussed magnets, cords, impaction, phthalates, total concentration of certain elements, and the alignment of toy standards.

Technical experts from the U.S.—including representatives from toy manufacturers and importers, testing labs, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA)—and industry and product safety agencies from more than a dozen countries also attended the discussions.

ASTM International held its third annual meeting with ISO to share information and work for further alignment. Issues such as battery and magnet ingestion were discussed. A detailed report from the U.S delegation will be available for viewing on the TIA Website upon completion.

CPSC Prevents More Than 647,000 Hazardous Toys from Reaching U.S. Consumers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has prevented more than a half million potentially dangerous imported products from reaching consumers during the first quarter of this year. Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, the two organizations screened more than 2,900 imported shipments at ports of entry in the U.S., preventing more than 240 unique SKUs (in total, 647,000 units) from reaching consumers between October 1-December 31, 2011. Topping the list of products stopped were children’s products containing levels of lead exceeding the federal limits, toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard, and toys and child care articles with banned phthalates.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

North American Safety Commissions Release Statement on Summit

The first North America Product Safety Summit was held September 26-27 at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Maryland headquarters. The three main parties, CPSC, Health Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States, released a statement on last month’s event.

The organizations noted the importance of the gathering, explaining the increasing volume of world trade. Other issues that were discussed included the need for trilateral cooperation for product safety, continuous improvement in training and quality assurance systems, enhanced cooperation to solve product safety issues, the promotion of an aligned product safety requirement, and timely and effective communication of product safety information.

The statement ended with a summary of the Summit’s “Cooperative Engagement Framework,” a six-point course of action designed to address issues over the next two years. Attendees vowed to work on cross-border cooperation for regulations and voluntary standards, risk assessment, import and market surveillance, training and outreach, consumer awareness campaigns, and joint recalls or other corrective actions.