The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates products manufactured in or imported to the US. The full range of products regulated by the CPSC can be found here: Regulations, Mandatory Standards and Bans.
For apparel, two laws are applicable. First, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) restricts levels of hazardous materials in products, especially those for children. For apparel, this concerns details such as snap closures, zippers or decorative prints. Second, the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), regulating the manufacture of highly flammable clothing textiles. Under the FFA, CPSC can issue mandatory flammability standards. The legal requirements concerning apparel by the CPSC are divided into children's products and non-children's products.
Importers of children’s apparel are required to:
Test the product in accordance with the CPSC’s regulations for children’s apparel:
FFA for all textiles
CPSIA if apparel has a print made by paint or ink, is embroidered or decorated with hard attachments
Have a label with tracking information attached to the product and its packaging
Importers to or manufacturers in the US of non-children’s apparel are required to:
Test the product in accordance with the CPSC’s regulations for apparel:
Test for compliance by any laboratory, either in-house or an external, third party laboratory
Issue a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) that provides evidence of the product’s compliance. More information and an example of a GCC can be found here. Both certificates (CPC and GCC) must be easily accessible for distributors and retailers of the apparels, and upon request, be available for the CPSC.
If the CPSIA or FFA is violated, the CPSC will, among other factors, consider the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation, as well as the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the firm’s size. Violations can result in penalties for the companies up to $100,000. The maximum penalty amount for a related series of violations is $15 million.
In addition to meeting the legal requirements, you as a manufacturer or importer of apparel into the US should take additional steps to ensure that your products are as safe as possible.The following actions are recommended by the CPSC:
Construct a safe supply chain by assessing it in its entirety and take affirmative steps to ensure compliance. This is something that TrusTrace can help you with. Contact us for more information.
Stay updated regarding regulations, legal responsibilities and the business environment
Be prepared with a recall plan in place
Document your compliance, ready to present to CPSC
By submitting this newsletter request, I consent to TrusTrace sending me regular website updates and occasional marketing e-mails.