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CPSC To Hold Hearing on New Law Today

Published October 1, 2008

BETHESDA, MD (BRAIN)—The Consumer Product Safety Commission will hold a public meeting this morning to discuss the new third-party testing requirement included in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

The five-hour session is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EST and will be Web cast at http://www.cpsc.gov/webcast/cpsia/msh.htm.

One portion of the Act, which became law in August, states that manufacturers of products intended for children under 12, including bicycles and bike accessories, must have an independent laboratory certify that their products meet CPSC requirements for things like lead paint levels and the presence of phthalates as of November 12.

Until now, the bicycle industry has done much of its testing in-house.

This morning’s meeting will address the accreditation process for third-party testing facilities. Commission staff will also provide guidance on the scope of the testing requirement, products covered and when the requirements go into effect.

John Nedeau, president of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, is also hoping the Commission will speak to how the industry should respond to the November deadline given a shortage of accredited labs and capacity issues at those labs, and whether the Commission would consider accrediting existing labs for lead paint testing as long as they have applied for certification.

Nedeau will not be at the hearing, however, representatives from several bike companies including Easton Bell, Trek, Huffy, Pacific and Cannondale are expected to attend. John Bogler, who founded American Compliance Testing Laboratories, Inc. in order to work with the bike industry on testing, will also be in Maryland.

Much of the industry is still trying to wrap its arms around how it will be affected by the new law.

Matt Moore, the risk manger and general counsel for Quality Bicycle Products, which has 28,000 SKUs from 450 suppliers, said complying with the law will be a significant administrative burden for the distributor.

“It’s going to have a huge impact,” he said.

Moore said QBP has already made inroads due to its compliance with California’s Proposition 65, a law limiting the amount of lead in consumer products.

Still, there are outstanding questions such as whether importers will need to supply paper documents to clear U.S. Customs or if the certifications can be electronic.

For a recap of the CPSC hearing, read the Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Web site on Friday and the November print edition.

—Nicole Formosa

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