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APRIL 2021 - HARDLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS
On 2 April 2021, The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a direct final rule1 for 16 CFR 1231 updating the mandatory standard for high chairs. The CPSC makes mandatory the most recent ASTM voluntary standard F404-202 without modifications, which includes stability testing for reclined seat high chair products that uses a CAMI Newborn Dummy rather than a 40-lb weight. The rule is effective on 3 July 2021, unless CPSC receives a significant adverse comment by 3 May 2021.
In June 2018, CPSC published a consumer product safety standard for high chairs under section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The standard incorporated by reference ASTM F404-18 was in effect for high chairs at the time. Later in April 2019, ASTM notified CPSC that it had published a revised standard for high chairs, ASTM F404-18a, which added a new subsection to exempt a subset of high chairs intended for infants who are unable to sit upright unassisted (birth to approximately 6 months of age) or who weigh 20 lbs or less (reclined seat high chairs). CPSC staff reviewed this revised standard and found it did not improve high chair safety. Based on CPSC staff’s recommendation, CPSC voted not to adopt the revised voluntary standard and retained the mandatory standard based on ASTM F404-18.
On 4 January 2021, ASTM notified CPSC that it had again revised the voluntary standard for high chairs to the 2020 version. Based on CPSC staff’s evaluation of the ASTM F404-20, CPSC will allow the revised voluntary standard to become the mandatory standard because the revised requirements in the voluntary standard improve the safety of high chairs. In particular, the 2020 version includes stability testing for reclined seat high chair products, developed in collaboration with CPSC staff, which are appropriate to test potential hazard and use patterns for these products.