CPSC – Consumer Product Safety Commission

CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is an independent, federal organization, protecting consumers from the risks associated with the use of various types of products. The agency has jurisdiction over a wide range of goods meant to be sold on the US market. Its measures contributed to a decrease in the rate of injuries and even deaths resulting from the use of consumer products. We present details related to the activities of the CPSC organization.

CPSC Organization

What does the CPSC do?

The American organization was established in 1972 under the CPSA (Consumer Product Safety Act). Most of the goods under its jurisdiction are imported into the United States. When it comes to importing security, CPSC cooperates with CBP (Customs and Border Protection). Together, they identify parcels to exclude the possibility that their contents pose a threat to the users. Products to be sold in the US must, therefore, comply with all applicable standards and regulations.

The CPSC is committed to fulfilling its vision of “A nation free from unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products.” The organization has its four main strategic goals:

CPSC strategic objectives

What are the main measures of the CPSC?

To protect American consumers’ safety, CPSC conducts analyses based on regulatory policy and enforces compliance with standards. This way, it identifies and counteracts the risks associated with the use of goods. The organization undertakes the following activities:

1. Identifies threats and evaluates them.

The CPSC collects information regarding injuries and deaths caused by the use of goods under its jurisdiction. On its basis, it develops and compiles statistics.

2. Develops standards.

The organization is involved in the development and strengthening of both voluntary standards and mandatory legislation.

3. Supervises the import.

One of the CPSC’s tasks is to use risk assessment to analyze the import data. This measure’s main point is to identify and interdict violative goods before they enter the United States. 

4. Enforces compliance of products with regulations.

The CPSC reliably checks if the goods meet all mandatory safety requirements for the consumers. It is obligatory if we want them to be imported into the United States and sold there. In the event of non-compliance with the regulations, it may withdraw the defective product from the market or subject it to appropriate corrective actions. If necessary, it also takes legal proceedings on this account.

5. Raises awareness.

The organization also puts effort in raising awareness of consumers, the world of the industry as well as foreign governments. It educates about mandatory and voluntary requirements, emerging threats, and product withdrawals.

6. Establishes cooperation.

To increase consumer safety in the US, the CPSC is partnering with foreign government security agencies. It also coordinates its activities with other federal government partners.

CPSC Organization's measures

What products are under the CPSC jurisdiction?

The CPSC organization has thousands of categories of goods under its jurisdiction. Its main task is to protect against defective products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The agency’s measures ensure the safety of goods used in households and their close surroundings and educational institutions. They are applied to such products as, for example:

  • cots and toys for children
  • household chemicals
  • household appliances
  • portable gas generators
  • and many more.

The CPSC range of products is vast, but it does not cover all categories. Goods which the organization does not have jurisdiction over are, among others: 

  • means of transport, e.g. cars and boats
  • alcohol and tobacco
  • firearm
  • pharmaceutical products and medical equipment
  • food
  • pesticides.

The products listed above are regulated by other federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

CPSC organization and certificates

Products under the jurisdiction of CPSC must undergo tests for compliance with all safety requirements. We must pay close attention to differences between mandatory rules for products intended for use by children and those not intended for them.

A laboratory issuing certification for baby goods must have approval from the CPSC. It checks whether the products comply with safety standards and do not endanger a child’s health and life. The certificate proving it is CPC (Children’s Product Certificate). There are over 400 laboratories in the world authorized by this organization to test goods intended for children. n

In the case of goods not intended for children, any laboratory is allowed to carry out the tests. It does not need any special approval from the CPSC. The safety certificate for such goods is GCC (General Certificate of Conformity). The laboratory issue the GCC based on all the products’ test results, if they comply with the safety requirements.

If the goods meet all mandatory regulations, the manufacturer or importer receives a certificate (CPC or GCC), proving positive test results. A written or electronic copy of the certificate must be provided to the retailer, distributor, and authorities upon request

Summary

The CPSC organization’s priority is to ensure the safety of consumers in the United States. It takes plenty of measures to reduce the incidence of injuries and deaths resulting from the use of defective goods. Products under the CPSC jurisdiction must undergo tests to check if they meet all the organization’s mandatory requirements and standards.

Importers and producers of such goods are obliged to prove their safety with appropriate certificates. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to distribute and sell their products in the United States.

More details on the activities of the CPSC can be found on the official website of the organization.

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