The Consumer Product safety Improvement Act (2008)
Approved by Congress on July 31 2008, the CPSIA is a response to a large number of highly publicized recalls and increased pressure by consumer groups and lawmakers. The CPSIA specifies that manufacturers certify in writing that products being imported for warehousing and/or consumption conform with any applicable rules, bans, regulations or standards administered by the CPSC. Certificates of conformity must be based on a “reasonable” testing program, must accompany the product or the shipment of the product and thereafter must be furnished to each distributor or retailer of the product. If no certificate is issued, or if a false certificate is found to be on hand, the shipment may be refused admission and destroyed. If requested by the CPSC, every manufacturer shall identify each subcontractor involved in the production or fabrication of products, substances and components. The CPSC can asses civil penalties to a maximum of $100,000 per violation, up to $15 million for a series of related violations. Corporate officers may be subject to criminal liability for violations of consumer product safety laws. Link here for additional information.
REACH (EU, 2007)
REACH is a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. The new law entered into force on 1 June 2007.
The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry should be enhanced. The benefits of the REACH system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into REACH.
The REACH Regulation gives greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Manufacturers and importers will be required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. The Agency will act as the central point in the REACH system: it will manage the databases necessary to operate the system, co-ordinate the in-depth evaluation of suspicious chemicals and run a public database in which consumers and professionals can find hazard information.
The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified. For more information read: REACH in Brief. Link here for additional information.