Background

President Biden has signed legislation into law (H.R. 5313) that requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to promulgate no later than Aug. 16, 2023, a final consumer product safety standard for button cell or coin batteries as well as consumer products containing such batteries.

The safety standard must include a performance standard requiring the button cell or coin battery compartments of a consumer product containing such batteries to be secured in a manner that would eliminate or adequately reduce the risk of injury from button or coin cell battery ingestion by children that are six years of age or younger during reasonably foreseeable use or misuse conditions.

In addition, the standard must set forth warning label requirements to be included on the packaging of button cell or coin batteries as well as the packaging of consumer products containing such batteries, in any literature (such as a user manual) that accompanies consumer products containing such batteries, and, as practicable, directly on consumer products containing such batteries in a manner that is visible to the consumer upon installation or replacement of the battery, or, in the case of a product for which the battery is not intended to be replaced or installed by the consumer, directly on the consumer product in a manner that is visible to the consumer upon access to the battery compartment, except that if it is impracticable to label the product this information must be placed on the packaging or instructions.

The new law will also require button cell or coin batteries sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported into the U.S., or included separately with a consumer product sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported into the U.S., to be packaged in accordance with the standards provided in 16 CFR 1700.15, as determined through testing in accordance with the method described in 16 CFR 1700.20, or another test method for button cell or coin battery packaging specified by the CPSC. This requirement will apply no later than Feb. 12, 2023.

The law provides that new standards will not apply with respect to any toy that is in compliance with the battery accessibility and labeling requirements of 16 CFR 1250, while the child-resistant packaging requirements will not apply with respect to button cell or coin batteries that are in compliance with the marking and packaging provisions of the ANSI Safety Standard for Portable Lithium Primary Cells and Batteries (ANSI C18.3M).

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