Congress Exempts Children's Books & Paper-Based Printed Materials from CPSIA; Industry Wins Freedom from New Environmental Regulation!
The high-stakes debt ceiling debate and votes may have stolen all of the media attention this week, but another very critical piece of legislation: a revision of the burdensome, flawed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which called for costly environmental testing and safety certification of children's books and other printed materials.
On Monday, August 1st the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2715) by an overwhelming vote of 421-2 to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). (The two recorded "Nay" votes were Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH; 9 Reps were recorded as "Not Voting.") The bill not only provides much needed added flexibility and discretion to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement this law, it also excludes children's books and paper-based printed materials from onerous third-party testing and certification requirements now in place for any and all products marketed to children under 12 years of age. The Senate followed suit that night and passed the House bill by voice vote, clearing the way for President Obama's signature. The President is expected to sign H.R. 2715 into law in short order.
This is a big win for the industry! While all children's manufactured products received a measure of general relief from CPSIA, "ordinary books" (see legislative definition below) and "paper-based printed materials" were only one of two product categories to gain a FULL exclusion from the environmental and consumer regulation. (Youth ATV/bicycles was the other category.) We've spent two years before the Consumer Product Safety Commission and in the halls of Congress providing environmental data, explaining print manufacturing processes, and urging lawmakers to take action to exempt what we considered an unintentional consequence of the original law passed in 2008. Prior to the votes, Printing Industries issued a Key Vote Alert to all lawmakers.