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On 13 August 2019, NYS Senate Bill S1627B1 was signed by the Governor of New York State, enacting “Harper’s Law” which is an Act to amend the New York State General Business Law. Harper’s Law amends the general business law by adding section 399-ii.
Harper’s Law applies to the retail sale of new furniture, specifically clothing storage units that are freestanding and at least 27 inches in height, including but not limited to Chests, Dressers, Armoires, and Bureaus.
The law prohibits the sale of these products that do not conform to standards endorsed or established by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or, if no such standard exists, a standard established by ASTM international which requires furniture to contain a tip restraint device and carry a permanent warning label, including but not limited to ASTM F20572. (Note: Currently there is no federal standard for clothing storage units; however, CPSC urges4 that these units comply with ASTM 2057-192 and the tip restraint devices conform to ASTM F3096-143.)
The sale of these units that do not meet these requirements is permitted if the product falls outside the scope of section 2 of the law (section 399-ii) and contains a comparable tip restraint device and carries a permanent warning label, or the retailer (A) Maintains in stock and prominently displays within the store – tip restraint devices available for sale that are compatible with such furniture; and (B) posts a notice, in a conspicuous location which may be easily seen or reached by customers, that, in legible format, states: “CERTAIN FURNITURE MAY BECOME UNSTABLE AND TIP OVER, LEADING TO POSSIBLE INJURY OR DEATH. TIP RESTRAINT DEVICES MAY PREVENT TIPPING OF FURNITURE WHEN PROPERLY INSTALLED."
This law goes into effect on the 90th day after it shall have become a law. (11 November 2019)