CPSC staff May 6 reported on 14 burden reduction projects over the past three years. The background was the agency's 2017 request for information (PSL, 6/5/17) seeking such ideas and the subsequent input (PSL, 10/9/17 and 10/16/17).
The 14 projects fell into three categories: enacted, still being worked on, and rejected. The report authors further split them into three areas that they affect (bit.ly/2A9KaPd).
- Determinations in 2018 on heavy metals and phthalates in wood products plus the just-completed similar action on manufactured fibers (see related story in this issue).
- An under-consideration determination on exemptions for flammability testing of spandex (PSL, 7/8/19).
- Potential elimination of the smoldering test for mattresses at 16 CFR 1632 and 1633 (under review since 2005).
- Potential creation of a testing guidance aimed at small-batch manufacturers of stuffed toys and ASTM F963.
- Potential testing-frequency reduction involving total lead content assessment via HDXRF and/or "a low-volume periodic testing exemption for small and micro businesses." Both would depend on there being no material changes.
- Potential educational outreach targeting component part testing, sample testing plans, becoming a CPSC-accepted laboratory, and alternatives to wet chemistry testing.
- Rejected allowance for detained shipments to be tested at CPSC-accepted labs in lieu of shipment to the agency's lab in Rockville, Md. The reason for rejection was that 80% of detained shipments are deemed violative and there was lack of evidence for reduced transit or testing times, so there would be little cost reduction. The report noted, however, that staffers are looking at other "possible process improvements" that could provide related relief.
- Rejected allowance for detained shipments to be held at the importers warehouse rather than elsewhere at the importers expense. Noting the 80% figure above, the report said staff deemed the risk of release into the market to be too high. CPSC does allow very limited conditional release, the authors observed, and will continue to do so.
- The 2019 decision (PSL 7/29/19) against compliance action over lack of GCCs with refrigerators as long as units bear marks for compliance with UL 60335-2-24.
- Removal of language in acceptance/close letters for corrective action plans that referenced litigation potential. The issue was recordkeeping triggered by the language.
- Consideration for potential use in an upcoming update of the Recall Handbook (targeted for FY2020) for flexibility for in-store notifications of recalls.
- Planned revamping of CPSC's online portal for submitting substantial product hazard reports. The plan is approved, and work awaits funding, the report noted.
- Education programs involving GCCs and CPCs.
- Rejected changes involving provision of GCCs and CPCs for item with requirements for on-product certification marks. The reason was too few candidates plus the value deemed to exist on GCCs and CPCs.