Monday January 02, 2023
CPSC Gets $152.5M for FY23 – Budget Act Includes CSUs, Fakes and TikTok
CPSC's budget for the ongoing fiscal year is $152.5 million under the appropriations act signed December 29. FY2023 began October 1. The funding language specifies $2 million each go to activities under pool/spa safety and carbon monoxide prevention laws overseen by CPSC. It also includes the perennial prohibition of work towards certain rules on recreational off-highway vehicles until completion of the long-pending, multiagency analyses of numerous questions.
CSUs: Folded into the act was STURDY (Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth) to regulate clothing storage units (CSUs). Its provisions include a 60-pound child-simulation weight; a 27-inch height trigger for in-scope units; stronger warnings; and tests targeting use on carpet, dynamic forces, loaded drawers, and multiple open drawers. It gives CPSC one year to set rules.
The law does differ from the recently approved CSU rule (PSL, 10/24/22). Notably, CPSC rejected the 60-pound simulation weight for 51.2 pounds as reflecting the 95th percentile of ages most involved in tipovers. Other elements – like the 27-inch trigger – align with the new law.
Commissioner Peter Feldman – whose reasons for being the 'no' in the rule's 3-1 passage included the law's imminence – wrote (bit.ly/3WtTUZT) that CPSC could have avoided litigation by waiting. The American Home Furnishings Alliance is challenging the rule (PSL, 12/12/22).
Feldman also reiterated his urging for more realistic financial planning. He had criticized (PSL, 10/31/22) the FY2023 operating plans' two track assumptions of $195.5 million (CPSC's FY2023 request) and $139 million (the FY2022 appropriation), especially since it was known what range Congress was targeting.
Counterfeits: Also passed as part of the budget act was the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act to set standards for information collected by ecommerce platforms about high-volume, third-party sellers of consumer products. The concern is stolen goods as well as fakes.
TikTok: The law bans the Chinese-owned social media platform on U.S. government devices due to security concerns. This means minimal change for CPSC as last fall (PSL, 10/31/22) commissioners added a Feldman amendment to the FY2023 operating plan against using the platform. On the new development, he wrote (bit.ly/3X8fYJB):
"While I understand and believe in meeting consumers where they are, when it comes to TikTok, we should stay as far away as possible. As a result of this common-sense restriction, our stakeholders do not have to worry about TikTok compromising consumer PII [personally identifiable information], CBI [confidential business information], and other sensitive information at CPSC."