Ontario's Electrical Safety Authority Relinquishes Overlapping Jurisdiction with Health Canada


As we previously reported, the adoption by Canada of a nationwide product safety scheme in 2011...
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Senate Confirms Two CPSC Commissioners


On June 27, 2013, the Senate confirmed by unanimous consent two new Commissioners...
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Commission Proposes Changes to Certificate Rule


On June 13, 2013, the CPSC announced proposed changes to its previously-released proposed rule on certificates of compliance.  As has become their practice, the Commissioners released a series of statements explaining their decisions to approve or oppose various aspects of the proposed rule.  As you will recall, one of the significant provisions in the 2008 amendments to the Consumer Product Safety Act was the requirement that manufacturers (later interpreted to be only  importers for importe...
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Leadership Changes at the CPSC


The blank spaces in the CPSC organizational charts are starting to be filled, although they do not give practitioners much to work with in predicting the future course of the Commission. The CPSC is authorized to have five commissioners, each appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Commissioners Moore (D) and Northup (R) saw their terms expire in 2011 and 2012, respectively.  Given the political nature of the Commission (and Washington), these vacancies can only be filled tog...
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Do You Have a Written CPSC Compliance Program?


In both of CPSC‘s most recent civil penalty settlements (Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.) the settlement agreements included provisions requiring the companies to implement and maintain a CPSC compliance program. In the agreements, the compliance programs contained the following elements: Written standards and policies A “whistle-blower” provision Compliance training for all employees Senior manager responsibility for compliance ...
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Administrative Law Judge Finds Magnet Manufacturer's CEO Proper Respondent in Administrative Complaint


We have been closely following the administrative complaints filed by the CPSC against rare earth magnet manufacturers seeking to have those products declared substantial product hazards.  (See prior posts here and here.)  We recently reported about the CPSC‘s efforts to hold the CEO of one of the companies personally liable for conducting a recall, by seeking to name him as a respondent in the proceeding.  The CEO appeared in the proceeding and vigorously contested the CPSC‘s attempt.  ...
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Buckyball Recall Questions


The CPSC recently announced that the former retailers of Buckyballs, one of the brands of small, rare earth magnets sold as adult toys which are subject to both an administrative complaint and product ban now pending at the CPSC, have agreed to a voluntary recall.  There are a few questions this raises. First, what about the other brands of similar products that are subject to the same complaints and rulemaking?  The CPSC has taken action against Zen Magnets and Star Enterprises, which have s...
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Proposed Elimination of Duplicate Canadian Product Jurisdiction


For years, manufacturers and retailers of electrical products for sale in Canada have been forced to deal with two independent and duplicative government agencies regarding product safety and recalls – the Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario (“ESA”) and Health Canada. Since 1998, the ESA has exercised jurisdiction over electrical products sold in Ontario, including product certification as well as notices of dangerous products and recalls.  Given that Ontario has the largest populat...
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CPSC Administrative Complaint Pursues Corporate Officer


We have written in the past about the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s (CPSC) administrative complaint seeking a recall of small rare earth magnets sold as adult toys.  Now, the CPSC has adopted a disturbing position.  In the Maxfield and Oberton Holdings, LLC proceeding (the entire docket is available here), the CPSC has requested permission from the administrative law judge to add the CEO of the company as a respondent in his individual capacity.  Under its theory, the CEO is personal...
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Health Canada Seeks Comments on Revised Guidance for Reporting Incidents under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act


In June, 2011, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act began to require reports of incidents related to products.  Shortly before the requirement took effect, Health Canada published guidance interpreting the statutory provision, and companies have relied on the guidance in deciding what incidents needed to be reported to Health Canada. Health Canada is now seeking comments on proposed revisions to the guidance.  The proposed revisions change the existing guidance in a number of areas, althoug...
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