Retail Leaders Discuss Top Product Safety Regulations

RILA was delighted to gather members of its Consumer Products Committee (CPC) in person again in Orlando, ahead of the International Consumer Products Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) Annual Training and Symposium, February 19-22, 2024. Over 80 retailer/brand attendees from 30 different member companies, including 28 first-time meeting attendees, were represented – exceeding our pre-pandemic attendance numbers. The CPC meeting agenda featured industry expert presentations from CPC’s strategic partners, Crowell & Moring, and UL Solutions; and concluded with two rounds of dynamic benchmarking discussions. 


Krystal Spickler, Program Manager, UL Solutions opened the meeting with a tour of various regulatory developments that retailers should watch out for across North American and the European Union (E.U.). This included, the U.S. EPA’s HFC Technology Transition Rule; the U.S. FDA’s Modernization of Cosmetics Regulations Act of 2022 (MoCRA); the passage of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) reform; and the E.U.’s General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR), among others. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The U.S. FDA’s MoCRA introduces a myriad of new requirements for cosmetics since 1938, including facility registrations and product listings; creation of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations; required reporting and recordkeeping for serious adverse events; safety substantiation; and recalls and suspension of facilities, among other requirements. 
  • The U.S. EPA’s HFC Technology Transition Rule’s scope encompasses many common products including refrigerant cannisters, computer dusters, noise makers, and string products. Exemptions under the rule have been made for two products – metered dose inhalers and defense sprays. 
  • The proposal for the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) includes classification of human health hazards of concern (HHHOCs); information disclosures; and additional protections, as necessary. 
Cheri Falvey, Partner, Crowell & Moring delivered a broad overview of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission’s (CPSC) developments in 2023 and shared her insights and predictions on what retailers may expect from the Commission in 2024. Topics covered in Cheri’s presentation included the increasing aggressiveness around their recall and enforcement priorities; the current CPSC rulemaking docket; Reese’s Law; and the potential for future CPSC regulations on PFAS. 

Key Takeaways 

  • In 2023, the CPSC focused their efforts on increasing their staffing capacity for the CPSC compliance team; enhanced presence at US ports; increased rulemaking on high priority hazards; recall effectiveness; and civil and criminal penalties. 
  • The CPSC has identified the following product categories as a priority in 2024: infant products; toys; micro-mobility products; home products; and Li-batteries. 
  • Top three retailer takeaways: 1) when in doubt, report; 2) consider ways to provide direct notice of recalls; and 3) where possible, get ahead on eFiling. 

Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking Discussions 

Following the strategic partner presentations, RILA member had the opportunity to engage in peer-to-peer benchmarking to discuss the following topics: 
  • Chemicals Management 
  • CPSC Regulations & Reporting 
  • Other Regulatory or Enforcement Activity (Non-CPSC)
  • Recalls & Recall Risk Assessment/Mitigation 
  • Compliance Programs 
  • California Prop 65 
  • Product Safety + Sustainability Nexus 
  • Product Supply Chain
Our thanks to our gracious benchmarking facilitators: Claudette Hunter (Abercrombie & Fitch), Elise Mowrey (American Eagle Outfitters), Travis Sjostrom & Rebeca Sharpe (Best Buy), Andy Dabydeen (Canadian Tire), Erin Bradley (Costco), Amy Lazas (Hallmark Cards), Eric Stahl (IKEA), Megan Liu (Kroger), Debra Hyde (Lowe’s), Rajneet Chahal (Target), Joanna Coates & Catherine Schramm (The Home Depot), Josh Kastler (The TJX Companies).

On that Monday evening, RILA members, guests and strategic partners had an opportunity to network and catch up with their peers at a RILA hosted sunset reception. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and get to know first-time attendees!


CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric Keynote Address

During Wednesday’s annual CPSC morning at the ICPHSO conference, Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric delivered the keynote address. His remarks touched on important data points from 2023, CPSC budget concerns, and important changes being made at the CPSC; before spending the remainder of his comments focused on e-commerce platforms and products sold on or through online marketplaces. 

For more insights and highlights from Chair Hoehn-Saric’s Keynote address, please see Crowell & Moring’s Retail Consumer Products Law Observer Blog Post.

RILA Related ICPHSO Sessions/Presentation Highlights 

Once again there was a strong RILA member and retail presence, as well as RILA strategic partners, on the ICPHSO agenda as speakers, moderators, and displaying their research in poster sessions; and represented in the leadership of the organization, including:  
  • ICPHSO Board of Directors: Kim Mason, Five Below (President-Elect & Conference Planning Chair) & David Kosnoff, Walmart (Treasurer)
  • ICPHSO Board Members: Erin Bradley, Costco; Vladimir Brajkovic, IKEA of Sweden; Danni Cugini, Haror Freight Tools; Mark Fellin, Melissa & Doug; and Rebeca Sharpe, Best Buy. 
  • “Inside the Room Where It Happens” – Fostering Organizational Understanding for the New Landscape of CPSC Regulatory Enforcement and Penalty Investigations – Eric Stahl, IKEA participated in a panel focused on the CPSC risk landscape and strategies for how to effectively boost internal communications and create processes to ensure success. 
  • Challenging the ANSI Z535.4 Standard – Is it helping or hurting product safety? – RILA CPC Strategic Partner, Cheri Falvey, Crowell & Moring joined other industry experts for a broad overview of the ANSI Z535.4 Standard, looking at whether warning labels need to be revised to increase noticeability and likelihood of being read. 
  • Protecting Consumers in an Expanding Secondhand Market – Tracey Kelly, IKEA, joined a discussion on solutions to mitigate risk and how to keep consumers safe on the booming secondhand marketplace. 
  • Developing Safe and Sustainable Consumer Products – Material and Product Considerations – Vladamir Brajkovic, IKEA of Sweden, participated in a session on the real-life struggles, successes achieved and aspirations ahead for developing safe and sustainable consumer products. 
  • Say Goodbye to PFAS: What product manufacturers can expect from regulatory initiatives on PFAS – RILA CPC Strategic Partner Silvia Lai, UL Solutions, participated in a panel exploring how PFAS is being regulated on the two sides of the Atlantic, and the challenges & opportunities that this will pose to product manufacturers. 
  • Ask a Retailer: Dispatches from the Recall Frontlines – Erin Bradley, Costco; Joanna Coates, Home Depot; Tiffany Frazier, Target; and RILA CPC Strategic Partner Cory Anderson, UL Solutions participated in a RILA organized session that covered a variety of issues related to recalls, including how product recalls are managed, lessons learned from recalls, common challenges, and areas of opportunity for increased collaboration with suppliers and regulators. 
  • ICPHSO DEI Committee Open Meeting – Erin Bradley, Costco hosted the ICPHSO DEI Committee Open Meeting focused on moving the needle on applying DEI accessibility principles to product safety design, implementation of new regulations and recall effectiveness. 
  • Leveraging the Digital Product Passport (DPP); Challenges and Opportunities – Vladimir Brajkovic, IKEA of Sweden, participated in a panel discussing the potential of the DPP in promoting product safety and consumer well-being. 
  • How to Warn against the Dangers of Hidden Hazards? – Guillermo Rodriguez, Harbor Freight Tools, joined in on a panel focused on the silent dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • How Safe are the Imported Consumer Products Sold on the US and EU Markets? – RILA CPC Strategic Partner Ibrahim Jilani, UL Solutions joined a panel discussing the results of two test studies focused on consumer products in the E.U. and the U.S. 
  • What Industry Needs to Know: One Year Until CPSC eFiling Becomes Mandatory – Andrew Reitano, IKEA and Matt Wolf, Tractor Supply Company, engaged in a panel with CPSC regulators for a deep dive into their successes and learnings from participating in the eFiling pilot program and how others can best prepare themselves for the imminent eFiling deadline. 
  • Poster Viewing Session - RILA member Steve Pratt (Target) displayed his research on Ceramic Material Identification, and CPC Strategic Partner, Veronica Kimmerly (UL Solutions) displayed her research on the development of a Lithium-Ion Battery Thermal Runaway Incident Database. 
For more information on consumer product related topics and RILA’s Consumer Products Committee, please contact Luisa Lobo, RILA’s Senior Manager, Legal & Regulatory Affairs.
  • Consumer Product Compliance
  • Legal Affairs & Compliance
  • Product Safety

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