Congress Clears Consumer Product Safety Bill

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Congress Clears Consumer Product Safety Bill: Includes Exemption for Resellers of Used Children’s Products

In the midst of the political drama over raising the debt ceiling, last night, Congress overwhelmingly cleared legislation (H.R. 2715) "to provide the Consumer Product Safety Commission with greater authority and discretion in enforcing the consumer product safety laws, and for other purposes." Among other provisions, the bill includes language negotiated by GII's public policy team that would address Goodwill's concerns about retroactively applying the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act's (P.L. 110-24) sales ban on children's products manufactured before the law's implementation in February 2009.

On Monday, August 1, the House voted 412-2 to pass the bill, while the Senate followed suit later that evening to pass the bill by unanimous consent. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) were the only two lawmakers to vote against it. The bill will take effect immediately after its enactment into law, and the President is expected to sign the it.

The bill excludes lead limits in the legislation for "certain used children's products" defined as "a children's product" that was obtained by the seller for use and not for the purpose of resale or was obtained by the seller either directly or indirectly, from a person who obtained such children's product for use and not for the propose of resale. Such term also includes a children's product that was donated to the seller for charitable distribution or resale to support charitable purposes. Such term shall not include children's metal jewelry; any children's product for which the donating party or the seller has actual knowledge that the product is in violation of the lead limits in this section [Sec. 1(b)(7)]; or any other children's product that the [Consumer Product Safety] Commission determines, after notice and a hearing, presents an un reasonable risk to children's health. The definition of a"seller" includes "a person who lends or donates a used children's product."

Since the CPSIA's implementation, GII has worked to inform law makers about the law's unintended potential to negatively impact local Goodwill agencies and the communities they serve. Since 2009, the issue has been identified among the top legislative priorities by GII's Public Policy Committee, and has been among issues discussed with Congressional law makers and staff during GII's annual advocacy event. Jim Gibbons, Goodwill's President and CEO, also testified on April 29, 2010 before the U.S. House of Representatives House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection to endorse similar language included in an earlier version of the bill.

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