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Four Companies Ordered to Take Safety Steps Before Resuming Imports of Children’s Products

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A federal judge issued June 10 injunctions requiring four importers and six individuals to take certain actions before they will again be allowed to import, sell and distribute children’s products. The defendants were accused of knowingly importing toys and child care articles with illegal lead and phthalate levels and small parts as well as infant rattles that could cause choking or suffocation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it collected and tested dozens of samples of these products between 2008 and 2013 and that it issued repeated notices of non-compliance notifying the firms and their officers that their products violated federal standards.

The injunctions prohibit the named importers and individuals from importing, selling or distributing children’s products until they meet the following requirements.

- retain an independent person or entity to help them create a comprehensive product safety program and conduct a product audit to determine which items require testing and certification and quarantine all subject merchandise until that audit is completed

- retain for children’s products an accredited third-party conformity assessment body(ies) to perform third-party testing

- establish a comprehensive product safety program with written standard operating procedures that (a) complies with third-party testing requirements and periodic testing at least once a year, (b) ensures that after testing the defendants issue, retain and provide to the CPSC on request certificates of conformity, (c) establishes systems to ensure that the SOPs are followed consistently, (d) includes procedures to ensure that the defendants adequately correct any product violation cited by the CPSC, conduct product recalls and respond to CPSC letters of advice within the specified time period, and (e) establishes systems to investigate all reports of adverse incidents regarding their products, address potentially defective products appropriately and implement corrective internal procedures if needed

- ensure that a third-party conformity assessment body has conducted certification testing on children’s products

- issue certificates of compliance for each applicable children’s product

- certify in writing to the CPSC’s Office of Compliance that they are in compliance with these requirements

They will also be required to (a) provide a list of any names and importer of record numbers used or associated with any entity they own, manage or control every six months for three years and (b) maintain for five years records of all required analyses, testing and certificates of conformance as well as all adverse incidents regarding their imported consumer products.

Failure to comply with the material provisions of the court orders will result in liquidated damages of $1,000 per day.

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