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Third Party Testing and Certification of Children's Toys

Posted by attorney Christopher Hinderliter

In July 2011 the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC") voted unanimously to approve new third party testing and certification requirements to help ensure the safety of children’s toys. The requirements will be enforced for all toys manufactured or imported after December 31, 2011. This means that beginning January 1, 2012, toy manufacturers and importers must have all toys tested by an accredited third-party conformity assessment body, and must issue a certificate of compliance with the applicable regulations based on that testing.

Congress, through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA"), required that the existing voluntary safety standards become mandatory standards. Congress also directed the CPSC to require third party testing to those standards. Toy manufacturers have been required to follow mandatory toy safety requirements since 2008. Now, over two years later the third party testing requirements will come to fruition. This requirement will certainly help ensure that toys reaching the end consumer will actually comply with the mandatory safety requirements implemented after CPSIA was passed.

Safeguards in the mandatory toy standards are intended to eliminate electrical, thermal and mechanical hazards, including cuts from broken wires, strangulations from long cords, burns from heating elements, shocks from electrical circuits, and suffocations from hemispherical-shaped objects.

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