The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a proposed rule that would establish a mandatory safety standard for button cell or coin batteries that includes requirements for consumer goods using such batteries. Comments on this proposal are due by March 13.

Button cell or coin batteries are generally small, single-cell batteries that range from 5 mm to 32 mm in diameter and 1 mm to 6 mm in thickness, but they come in many shapes and sizes and are composed of different materials and chemicals. Consumer products that use such batteries (and are within the scope of this rule) include common household portable devices, wearable accessories, and decorative electronic devices. Examples include remote controls, games and toys, calculators, keychain flashlights, watches, flashing shoes and clothing, musical greeting cards, cameras, flameless candles, and holiday ornaments.

This rule would:

- establish performance requirements for battery compartments on consumer products that contain, or are designed to use, one or more button cell or coin batteries;

- require warning labels on (1) the packaging of button cell or coin batteries and (2) the packaging, battery compartments, and accompanying instructions and manuals of consumer products containing button cell or coin batteries; and

- require importers and manufacturers of button cell or coin batteries, and consumer products containing them, to notify consumers of performance and technical data related to the safety of such batteries at the point of sale, both online and in stores.

The August 2022 law under which the CPSC is promulgating this standard provides that (1) the standard will not apply to any toy in compliance with the battery accessibility and labeling requirements of 16 CFR 1250 and (2) the child-resistant packaging requirements will not apply to button cell or coin batteries in compliance with the marking and packaging provisions of the ANSI Safety Standard for Portable Lithium Primary Cells and Batteries (ANSI C18.3M).

The CPSC must issue a final rule by Aug. 16, 2023. The CPSC states that once that happens subject consumer products will have to be tested and certified as compliant.

For more information on compliance with this and other product safety standards, please contact Beth Ring at (212) 549-0133 or Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970.

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