CPSIA, uncompliable

by Walter Olson on October 29, 2010

Katherine Mangu-Ward at Reason “Hit and Run” provides two snapshots of the continuing damage being done by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, including the rage-and-despair reaction of Rick Woldenberg (AmendTheCPSIA.com), who says that the new regulations “will jack up Learning Resources’ annual compliance costs to $15 million, FAR in excess of our profits. We have no Plan B — so we are trying to get a new government.” And a commenter points to the “Criticism” and (very partial) “List of Companies Whose Closure Is Linked To CPSIA” sections of the Wikipedia entry.

Related: “Not available because of the CPSIA“: wood-and-beeswax Selecta Spielzeug Rhonda dollhouse dining room, formerly imported from Germany. Why pay a whopping testing bill to clear an innocuous product that’s at best going to sell modestly on this side of the Atlantic? [EuroToyShop.com]

{ 1 comment }

1 David Taylor 11.11.10 at 7:53 pm

I have only recently become aware of the ‘small business’ issues that have resulted from the CPSIA but can relate to the ‘knee-jerk’ rulemaking behind all of this. I am much more familiar with the CPSC’s “sister” agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its rulemaking process. After the Firestone ATX disaster of about 2000, NHTSA promulgated (The TREAD Act) a host of new regulations for tires; some necessary, some quite overbearing an onerous. A decade later they are STILL writing new regs for tires. They just can’t stop. My point is this: although the top U.S. , Asian, and European tire manufacturer’s will spend 100’s of millions of dollars to comply with these new regs, the 50 – 60 (?) Chinese (and other) brands that are imported into the U.S. may HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR if their tires are in compliance with the new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). FMVSS, you see, are “voluntary compliance” regs. and the NHTSA has nowhere near the budget (never has) the BUDGET to conduct compliance testing to determine if the FLOOD of imported tires meet the ever increasing new FMVSS. I recently checked NHTSA’s “compliance testing” database. A lot of motorcyle and baby seat testing. I can’t find any imported tire compliance testing. There may be about 160 or so imported tire brands in the U.S. How does the CPSC intend to monitor the 10’s of thousands of potential products under the CPSIA?
Conscientious U.S. producers will comply with the law. Many importers may ignore it and take their chances.

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