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USA: Vermont governor signed children’s product reporting rule amendment into law

JUNE 2019 - Relevant for: Hardlines, Softlines, Toys and children's products

On 19 June 2019, Bill S.551 was signed into law by Vermont governor, amending the existing chemical of high concern (CHCC) reporting rule2.  The amendment will take effect on 1 July 2019. This update aims to better protect children from toxic chemicals.

CHCC reporting rule is a chemical disclosure program for children’s products.  Beginning from 1 January 2017, children product manufacturers are required to report to the Vermont Department of Health if their product contains chemicals of high concern (CHCC) above the threshold.  Non-compliance will be considered as a violation of Consumer Protection Act with a civil penalty of USD$10,000 for each violation. 

In 2017, the legislature sent a similar bill (S.1033) to the governor but vetoed because it would have a negative impact on local businesses.

Major amendment of Act 188 include:

  • Reporting frequency is changed from biennially to annually. The next reporting deadline will be due by 31 August 2020;
  • Description of reporting information now includes the brand name, the product model, and the universal product code (UPC) if the product has this code;
  • The process of adopting rule to regulate the sales or distribution of children’s products containing CHCC is streamlined. Previously, the Commissioner of Health acts upon the recommendation of the stakeholder working group. Now the group needed to be consulted only;
  • The Commissioner of Health would be authorized to add a chemical to the CHCC list on the basis of scientific evidence and peer-reviewed scientific research rather than based on the weight of scientific evidence only;
  • Vermont will also establish an Interagency Committee on Chemical Management to annually evaluate chemical inventories and identify potential risks therefrom to human health and the environment.

[1] Vermont bill S.55

[2] Vermont Statue - 18 V.S.A chapter 38A

[3] Vermont bill S.103

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