The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to a decision today from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) related the process by which importers certify that products manufactured outside of the United States comply with federal product safety laws. Specifically, the CPSC approved a pilot that will require importers to electronically file five data elements for imported consumer products that will enable the CPSC to enhance its import surveillance efforts and allow it to more accurately target noncompliant and unsafe consumer products prior to importation.
“Retailers are fully committed to ensuring the safety of the products sold to U.S. consumers. Today’s decision is the first step in an ongoing collaborative effort of developing a process by which importers can provide the CPSC with information necessary to ensure that imported consumer products comply with the high standards imposed under federal law, without unduly burdening industry. We appreciate the CPSC’s willingness to work constructively with industry to achieve our shared product safety goals and we look forward to continuing to engage with the Commission in the development and execution of the pilot, and evaluation of the pilot results to inform the drafting of the final regulation.” said Kathleen McGuigan, senior vice president for legal and regulatory affairs. “While RILA applauds the CPSC for incorporating industry input, we continue to urge the Commission to consider industry’s other recommendations that were not incorporated into today’s decision, including recommendations for the development of a Trusted Trader program for low-risk importers, restricting the proposed registry from a certificate based registry to a product based registry and elimination of e-filing requirements for exempt products. These recommendations, if implemented, would significantly reduce the costs and administrative burdens of the e-filing pilot on retailers.”
An earlier proposed rule would have fundamentally altered liability and commercial relationships between retailers and their private label suppliers. In response to overwhelming opposition from retailers and other industry groups, the CPSC has taken the unusual step of suspending the rulemaking pending the outcome of the e-filing pilot.
RILA has actively engaged with the CPSC for more than two years on this issue, providing public testimony on several occasions.
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.