The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has unanimously adopted the elimination of costly and unnecessary General Conformity Certificates (GCC) on clothing manufacturers and importers for adult clothing made from fabrics that the CPSC says are inherently safe and compliant.
Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), products covered by a mandatory CPSC regulation must have a GCC reflecting their compliance with safety standards. Ordinary adult apparel is subject to a single CPSC rule, the flammability standards established under the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA). CPSIA, then, would require certification solely to demonstrate that any adult apparel product complies with those standards.
Why It Matters
The CPSC rule under the FFA establishes a list of fabrics that will necessarily and consistently meet the flammability standard. In light of that determination, relying on the CPSC authority and discretion as a law enforcement agency, the Commission will not pursue enforcement action regarding a lack of GCC for apparel made entirely from one or more of the listed fabrics.
It is important to note three things the CPSC did not do with this action.
- A precedent was not set for the exercise of enforcement discretion for other products. Adult apparel products made from the listed fabrics are unique in that they have been determined – by rule – that they are so likely (virtually certain) to comply with the only relevant requirement that they present, at most, negligible risk; for other high-risk or children’s products, certification has value.
- The CPSC did not lift the underlying requirements the products face. As unlikely as any violations are, if they occur, they are still subject to enforcement action.
- Any enforcement discretion is subject to revocation, but we committed to giving industry at least 90 days’ notice before we do so, in the unlikely event that these historically safe products begin to present any appreciable risk.
How UL Can Help
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