Archive for November, 2011

CPSC Issues Final Rule for Component Part Testing

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The CPSC has issued an additional final rule, with the conditions and requirements for relying on testing or certification of component parts or another party’s finished product, or both, to determine compliance of a children’s product with all applicable rules, bans, standards, and regulations as part of the standards and protocols for continued testing of children’s products. The final rule is effective on December 8, 2011.

This final rule is intended to allow all entities involved in testing testing and certifying consumer products pursuant to sections 14(a) and 14(i) of the CPSA, the flexibility to conduct or rely on required certification testing where such testing is the easiest and least expensive. A domestic manufacturer or importer can base their required certification upon one or more of the following: (a) Component part testing; (b) component part certification; (c) another party’s finished product testing; or (d) another party’s finished product certification.

The rule also offers flexibility by allowing component testing prior to the final assembly of finished products so that test reports can be provided to multiple manufacturers using the same component parts.

The rule defines “Component part” as ‘‘any part of a consumer product, including a children’s product, that either must or may be tested separately from a finished consumer product, to assess the consumer product’s ability to comply with a specific rule, ban, standard, or regulation enforced by the CPSC.”

CPSC Issues Final Rule for Testing and Certification

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

The CPSC has issued a final rule that establishes the requirements for testing and certification by a third party conformity assessment body (also referred to as a “third party lab”) for children’s products that are subject to a children’s product safety rule. This final rule (designated as 16 CFR 1107) also includes requirements for the labeling of consumer products to show that the product complies with the certification requirements. This new rule goes into effect on February 8, 2013 and applies to products manufactured after this date.

The rule establishes protocols and standards for the following:
• Verification that a children’s product tested by a third party lab complies with applicable children’s product safety rules
• Periodic testing
• Testing of representative samples: in order to provide a high level of assurance, testing certification should be based on a sufficient number of samples of a children’s product, or samples that are identical to the children’s product being certified.
• Safeguarding against the use of undue influence on a third party lab by a manufacturer/private labeler
Section 1107.21, of 16 CFR 1107, prescribes 3 options for satisfying the requirements for Periodic Testing:

Option 1 (maximum 1 yr interval)
A manufacturer must conduct periodic testing to ensure compliance with the applicable children’s product safety rules at least once a year, submitting samples to an accredited, third party conformity assessment body. (A third party conformity assessment body – or third party lab – is defined as a testing laboratory whose accreditation has been accepted by the CPSC to conduct certification testing on children’s products. Only third party conformity assessment bodies whose scope of accreditation includes the applicable required tests can be used for children’s product certification or periodic testing purposes.)

With this option, the manufacturer is responsible for developing a periodic testing plan to ensure that children’s products manufactured after the initial certification, or since the previous periodic testing period, continue to comply with all applicable children’s product safety rules. The manufacturer must also select a testing interval short enough to ensure that, if the samples selected for testing pass the test, there is a high degree of assurance that the other untested children’s products manufactured during the testing interval comply with the applicable children’s product safety rules.
The periodic testing plan must include the tests to be conducted, the intervals at which the tests will be conducted, and the number of samples that will be tested.

Option 2 (maximum 2 yr interval)
A manufacturer must implement a production testing plan (described in subparagraph (c)(2) of section 1107.21) to ensure continued compliance, submitting samples to an accredited, third party lab for periodic testing at least once every two years.

A production testing plan must include production management techniques and tests that must be performed to provide a high degree of assurance that the products manufactured after initial certification continue to meet all the applicable children’s product safety rules. The production testing plan must also include the intervals at which tests must be conducted or measurements will be made. The test methods used in the production testing plan do not need to be the same test methods used for certification, but they must be equally effective in determining compliance with the applicable children’s product safety rules.

Option 3 (maximum 3yr interval)
A manufacturer must conduct periodic testing to ensure continued compliance at least once every three years, submitting samples to a testing laboratory accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.
Any ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited testing laboratory must be accredited by an accreditation body that is accredited to ISO/IEC 17011:2004.” The test method(s) used by an ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited testing laboratory must be the same test method(s) used for certification.

*It should be noted that initial certification testing and testing required by a material change (which is essentially a recertification), requires the use of an accredited, CPSC-recognized third party conformity assessment body. Option 3 permits the use of a laboratory that is not recognized by CPSC for re-testing only.