US Removed Fabric Certification Rules for Low-Risk Adult Apparel

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Feb. 24 adopted unanimously a proposal to remove certain fabric certification rules that companies making and selling adult apparel have had to comply with for years.  

The change could reduce burden associated with third party testing and certification. The move will save businesses annual costs of up to $250 million. 

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008 (CPSIA), manufacturers or importers of ordinary adult apparel are subject to the flammability standards established under the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA). The rule also includes a list of fabrics—established more than 30 years ago—that meet the standard. This means that businesses are burdened with paperwork for fabrics that the CPSC has already deemed harmless.

In light of that determination, effective March 25 the CPSC will not pursue compliance or enforcement actions against importers, manufacturers or private labelers for failure to provide a general conformity certificate with respect to adult wearing apparel that is made entirely from one or more of the listed fabrics.

Of course, these products must still comply with all flammability requirements under the FFA and failure to do so will still subject the products to enforcement action.

In fact, based on the data the CPSC has collected, the industry has to produce more than 26 million certificates at a cost of roughly $250 million each year.

Furthermore, the commission calculated that more than 60% of this burden falls on small businesses, which not only lack the infrastructure to minimize per-certificate costs, but their smaller product runs and purchase orders also mean they have fewer units under each one.

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