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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter APart 1031Subpart A → §1031.2

Title 16: Commercial Practices
Subpart A—General Policies

§1031.2   Background.

(a) Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972 to protect consumers against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products. In order to achieve that goal, Congress established the Consumer Product Safety Commission as an independent regulatory agency and granted it broad authority to promulgate mandatory safety standards for consumer products as a necessary alternative to industry self regulation.

(b) In 1981, the Congress amended the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, and the Flammable Fabrics Act, to require the Commission to rely on voluntary standards rather than promulgate a mandatory standard when voluntary standards would eliminate or adequately reduce the risk of injury addressed and it is likely that there will be substantial compliance with the voluntary standards. (15 U.S.C. 2056(b), 15 U.S.C. 1262(g)(2), 15 U.S.C. 1193(h)(2)). The 1981 Amendments also require the Commission, after any notice or advance notice of proposed rulemaking, to provide technical and administrative assistance to persons or groups who propose to develop or modify an appropriate voluntary standard. (15 U.S.C. 2054(a)(3)). Additionally, the amendments encourage the Commission to provide technical and administrative assistance to groups developing product safety standards and test methods, taking into account Commission resources and priorities (15 U.S.C. 2054(a)(4)). Although the Commission is required to provide assistance to such groups, it may determine the level of assistance in accordance with the level of its own administrative and technical resources and in accordance with its assessment of the likelihood that the groups being assisted will successfully develop a voluntary standard that will preclude the need for a mandatory standard.

(c) In 1990, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), amending section 15(b) of the CPSA to require that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers notify the Commission about products that fail to comply with an applicable voluntary standard upon which the Commission has relied under section 9 of the CPSA. CPSIA also amended section 9(b)(2) of the CPSA to require that the CPSC afford interested persons the opportunity to comment regarding any voluntary standard prior to CPSC termination and reliance.

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