e-CFR Navigation Aids


Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity


Search History

Search Tips


Latest Updates

User Info


Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Help button on the bottom right of each page!

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

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter APart 1031Subpart A → §1031.4

Title 16: Commercial Practices
Subpart A—General Policies

§1031.4   Effect of voluntary standards activities on Commission activities.

(a)(1) The Commission, in determining whether to begin proceedings to develop mandatory standards under the acts it administers, considers whether mandatory regulation is necessary or whether there is an existing voluntary standard that adequately addresses the problem and the extent to which that voluntary standard is complied with by the affected industry.

(2) The Commission acknowledges that there are situations in which adequate voluntary standards, in combination with appropriate certification programs, may be appropriate to support a conclusion that a mandatory standard is not necessary. The Commission may find that a mandatory standard is not necessary where compliance with an existing voluntary standard would eliminate or adequately reduce the risk of injury associated with the product, contains requirements and test methods that have been evaluated and found acceptable by the Commission, and it is likely that there will be substantial and timely compliance with the voluntary standard. Under such circumstances, the Commission may agree to encourage industry compliance with the voluntary standard and subsequently evaluate the effectiveness of the standard in terms of accident and injury reduction for products produced in compliance with the standard.

(3) In evaluating voluntary standards, the Commission will relate the requirements of the standard to the identified risks of injury and evaluate the requirements in terms of their effectiveness in eliminating or reducing the risks of injury. The evaluation of voluntary standards will be conducted by Commission staff members, including representatives of legal, economics, engineering, epidemiological, health sciences, human factors, other appropriate interests, and the Voluntary Standards Coordinator. The staff evaluation will be conducted in a manner similar to evaluations of standards being considered for promulgation as mandatory standards.

(4) In the event that the Commission has evaluated an existing voluntary standard and found it to be adequate in all but a few areas, the Commission may defer the initiation of a mandatory rulemaking proceeding and request the voluntary standards organization to revise the standard to address the identified inadequacies expeditiously.

(b) In the event the Commission determines that there is no existing voluntary standard that will eliminate or adequately reduce a risk of injury the Commission may commence a proceeding for the development of a consumer product safety rule or a regulation in accordance with section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2058, section 3(f) of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, 15 U.S.C. 1262(f), or section 4(a) of the Flammable Fabrics Act, 15 U.S.C. 1193(g), as may be applicable. In commencing such a proceeding, the Commission will publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking which shall, among other things, invite any person to submit to the Commission an existing standard or portion of an existing standard, or to submit a statement of intention to modify or develop, within a reasonable period of time, a voluntary standard to address the risk of injury.

(c) The Commission will consider those provisions of a voluntary standard that have been reviewed, evaluated, and deemed to be adequate in addressing the specified risks of injury when initiating a mandatory consumer product safety rule or regulation under the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, or the Flammable Fabrics Act, as may be applicable. Comments will be requested in the advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the adequacy of such voluntary standard provisions.

Need assistance?