Sweeping CPSC Legislation Moves Closer to Enactment

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

On December 19, 2007 the House of Representatives passed legislation that reauthorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), imposes much greater fines than permitted under current law, allows state attorneys general to seek injunctive relief under the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”) in federal court, reduces some of the confidentiality protections that currently cover information submitted to the CPSC, and increases the CPSC’s funding. The bill also reduces the amounts of lead permissible in children’s toys and forbids the sales of recalled products.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act,” by a vote of 407 to 0 under a procedural motion called suspension of the rules.” Because it was considered under suspension,” no amendments were permitted during House consideration. Debate of the bill was limited to 40 minutes and the bill required a 2/3 majority vote for passage. A similar bill, S. 2045, The CPSC Reform Act of 2007,” was reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee on October 30, 2007. That bill covers many of the same topics as the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act, but includes additional provisions that are deemed more problematic by industry representatives.

This Client Advisory further describes the Act and the notable differences in legislative language between H.R. 4040 and S. 2045.