December 9, 2019
It’s not always easy to be up-to-date with the regulations for juvenile products. Here in UL, we are dedicated to keeping you updated. Following our webinar on the regulatory updates in juvenile products industry, we interviewed our expert Brian Grochal, Juvenile Products Global Technical Lead, to go further in detail on the topic and answer your questions.
Read the interview below to help you better understand the details and the importance of being continuously updated on the juvenile products industry. Contact us to learn more about our wide portfolio of services for the juvenile products industry.
Q: When an update to a US standard has been approved, what is the process and how long does it take to be published as a new standard, becoming mandatory?
Brian Grochal: After an update (or updates) to an ASTM standard has been approved by the subcommittee, it is passed along to a standard editor who will make the changes. Once the changes have been made, it is sent to a review committee to validate the new revision of the standard. Shortly after it has been approved by the review committee, it will be published online. From subcommittee approval to publication, this can take as little as a few weeks and usually less than 5 weeks.
Q: Who works on the standards updates for the US and EU, and can I get involved?
Brian Grochal: In the US, ASTM is the juvenile product standard body. Its membership is comprised of a wide variety of stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, testing labs, consultants, lawyers, trade organizations, and more. Anybody can become a member of ASTM and participate in the discussions.
In the EU, The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is the standard issuing organization for juvenile products. Its membership is comprised of members from each of the 28 European Union countries. Participation is specifically nominated by the national organization for each country. UL participates in CEN on behalf of the Italian organization. Unfortunately, the meetings are not open to the public.
Q: When there is no standard for a product in the EU (e.g. children’s chairs, stationary activity centers), what do I need to meet for the EU?
Brian Grochal: All consumer products fall under General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) in the EU. It applies in the absence of specific regulations or standards governing the safety of specific products. It imposes general safety requirements for procedures and distributors. CEN has published several technical reports (TR 13387:2015) that outline general safety guidelines for children’s products, which should be followed. In assessing whether a product is safe, other international standards are one aspect taken into account. The bottom line is that you need to ensure that your product is a “safe product” as defined in the GPSD.
Q: For US bassinets, where can I see the detailed requirements and tests for compact bassinets/cradles that are being brought into the standard?
Brian Grochal: The proposed requirements can be found in the most recent F15.18 agenda from 10/22/2019 on the ASTM website. Compact bassinets/cradles will need to meet a revised 20-degree stability test and a revised 5.9” side height requirements among other things.