Ceramic Industry

CERAMIC DECORATING: SGCDpro Assists with Legislative Transitions

October 1, 2011

The Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorated Products (SGCDpro) has worked with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other organizations to effect changes in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This work resulted in amendments passed by the House and Senate in the middle of the controversial debates over debt reduction. The bill was signed by President Obama on August 12.

Of particular interest to the decorating industry, one of the amendments means that a provision reducing the limit on lead content in children's products from 300 parts per million to 100 ppm as of August 14 would apply only to products manufactured after that date. The tighter limits would not affect inventory produced before that date.

Another provision prohibits the CPSC from requiring third-party testing from "small batch manufacturers" until the CPSC has provided alternative testing requirements or an exemption for products of which 10,000 or fewer are made in a calendar year. A "small batch manufacturer" is defined as a manufacturer whose total gross sales in the previous calendar year was no more than $1 million.

The bill also gives more flexibility to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in determining how individual products should be tested and regulated.

Getting the Word Out

SGCDpro contributed to an advertising and promotion fund managed by NAM that led to passage of the bill amending the CPSIA. An advertisement appeared in the Congressional publication The Hill and an op-ed coordinated by NAM appeared in The Wall Street Journal. In addition, Nancy Nord, a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Times highlighting the unintended consequences of the regulation.

Commissioner Nord was one of two who voted against lowering the lead threshold for the CPSIA to 100 ppm, effective August 14. The reduction was implemented by the three Democratic commissioners.

Fact Sheet Development

SGCDpro is working on a fact sheet to assist member companies in complying with testing mandates for the CPSIA and other regulations. SGCDpro has learned that some test labs are conducting inappropriate tests-often because they (or their customer) do not understand which test applies.

When selecting a test method and protocol, one must consider the product, its intended use and its applicable limits and regulations. SGCDpro will email the fact sheet to members when it becomes available. The sheet will also be posted online at www.sgcd.org.

Deco 2012

Deco '12 is scheduled for March 24-26 in Las Vegas. A golf outing will be held on Saturday to kick off the event; details of the outing are currently being finalized.

The Ask the Experts regulatory update session will be held on Sunday, March 25, and will feature noted Proposition 65 attorney Carol Brophy, in addition to U.S. Food and Drug Administration retiree Richard Jacobs. Other panelists are being finalized. The society also expects that a representative from a test lab will speak about proper test protocol. In addition, several presentations will be offered on Monday to highlight new technologies.

SGCDpro Membership

SGCDpro will conduct its annual membership renewal campaign beginning in October. SGCDpro will continue to work with CPSC, NAM, industry lobbyists and others to effect positive change in consumer law. The society's fact sheets and regulatory updates are available to members only via email, newsletter, and the website at www.sgcd.org.