CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—Unprecedented legal bills has forced the Bicycle Products Supplier Association to impose an additional assessment fee on its 83 members as part of its annual dues structure. However, the association’s biggest members—companies like Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, QBP and others—will bear the brunt of the assessment charges, said John Nedeau, BPSA president.
“While that is not equitable, those companies acknowledge that burden as the leadership responsibility they have to the association and the industry,” he said.
Over the last nine months the BPSA stepped up to challenge the Consumer Product Safety Commission over lead limits in children’s products. If the new rules had taken effect in February as federal legislation required, suppliers, distributors and retailers would have faced financial havoc. But the CPSC delayed implementation for two years, in part because of the BPSA’s actions.
The association also incurred unexpected costs when forced to pay fees to monitor a New Jersey legislator’s attempts to impose a quick-release ban on bicycles sold in the state.
To date, the BPSA has spent about $60,000 on fees related to the CPSC and is anticipating more in the future. The board hired the firm of Mayer, Brown and Platt to work with the industry in challenging the CPSC’s lead-limit rules. Those costs fail to include the time and money spent by Trek, QBP, Fuji and others who volunteered time to tackle the issue.
Trek’s in-house counsel, Bob Burns, and QBP’s Matt Moore, also an attorney, spent dozens of hours on the issue. Bikes Belong also covered lobbying expenses related to the CPSC rule changes, Nedeau said.
The BPSA also incurs normal legal costs to track issues such as tariff changes, duty suspension, monitoring of federal legislation, safety issues and anti-trust guidance. The fees, about $36,000 a year, are paid to its long-time Washington, D.C. legal firm Venable LLP.