Ceramic Industry

One-Year Stay on Testing Requirements Issued for CPSIA (posted 2/3/09)

February 3, 2009

In response to an outcry by manufacturers, small businesses and retailers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted on January 30 to issue a one-year stay on enforcement of certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and retailers of most products covered by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). However, the ban on products containing lead levels exceeding those established in the law, as well as the associated civil penalties, remains in effect.

Lead paint and certain other coatings are not covered by the stay and remain subject to testing requirements. However, an earlier statement issued by CPSC indicated that “paint and other similar surface-coating materials does not include printing inks or those materials which actually become a part of the substrate, such as…ceramic glazing. In most instances, when vitrification has occurred, the materials would be considered to be part of the substrate of the product as one whole part for testing purposes.”

Accordingly, the Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorated Products (SGCDpro) believes that properly glazed and/or decorated glass and ceramic products would not need to be tested during the one-year stay of enforcement, as long as the producer and seller are confident the items would meet the lead limits. SGCDpro is contacting CPSC to confirm this interpretation.

As a practical matter, in spite of the CPSC stay on testing requirements, many retailers and other customers are likely to require suppliers to provide certifications or test results to protect them from liability for products that could possibly fail to meet the law’s lead limits.

After February 10, 2009, lead content in products intended for use by children aged 12 or under may not exceed 600 parts per million (ppm). On August 14, 2009, the limit will be lowered to 300 ppm. The law makes it illegal for items exceeding these limits to be sold or exported, and severe civil penalties apply.

For details, see the CPSIA Fact Sheet on the members’ section of the SGCDpro website at www.sgcd.org, under the legislation link.