Last week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) submitted comments to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) outlining retailers’ priorities for the agency as they develop their regulatory and enforcement agenda for 2017 and budget for 2018. RILA made several recommendations for practical ways retailers and the CPSC can work together to address consumer product safety concerns.
Responding to recent CPSC multi-million dollar penalty settlements and the CPSC’s failure to provide transparency and clarity to these enforcement decisions and calculation of penalties, RILA urges the CPSC to detail critical facts and specific mitigating and aggravating penalty factors in penalty settlement agreements. The CPSC’s failure to do so “leaves the regulated community with little guidance to enable companies to review and enhance product safety compliance programs,” said Kathleen McGuigan, senior vice president, legal & regulatory affairs.
In addition, RILA urges the CPSC to respect and not blur the unique roles and responsibilities of individual supply chain members for aspects of product safety compliance. Recent actions by the CPSC have inappropriately pushed retailers to take on product safety responsibilities that are best suited for and have traditionally fallen on product manufacturers. As the comments state, these actions “stand in stark contrast to the long history of collaboration between the CPSC and the retail industry.”
Additionally, RILA requested the CPSC develop a trusted trader program to improve efficiency of its import surveillance program, formalize and expand the current pilot Retail Reporting Program, withdraw pending controversial rulemakings that do not directly advance product safety, and establish a permanent stakeholder advisory group to help make better informed decisions and rulemakings.
“RILA and our members have always worked to maintain a collaborative partnership with the CPSC to address top consumer product safety concerns. These comments are an opportunity to once again align our,” said McGuigan. “We look forward to working together with the CPSC to achieve our shared product safety goals in the coming months.”
The full comments can be read here.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.