June 2019 Regulatory Update


EPA Issues Final Rule to Ban Methylene Chloride in Paint Strippers

On March 27, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule prohibiting the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers in consumer products. The final rule contains the following prohibitions and requirements.

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  • Prohibits the manufacturing, importing, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride in paint and coating removal for all consumer uses.
  • Prohibits the distribution in commerce of methylene chloride strippers by retailers who sell to consumers.
  • Requires manufacturers, processors, and distributors of methylene chloride strippers for any use to provide downstream notification of the prohibitions in this rule through inclusion of specified language in Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
  • Mandates recordkeeping relevant to the rule.

The final rule will become effective on May 28, 2019.

CPSC Explores Possible Changes to Clothing Textile Flammability Requirements

On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a notice to request public comment on changing 16 CFR 1610, the standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles.

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According to the notice, the CPSC requested information and data to help them to determine the possibility to exempt spandex from the textile flammability requirement by adding spandex to the list of exempt fabrics. In addition, the CPSC is seeking public comment for the following areas:

  • Specifications regarding the stop thread and thread availability and the procedures used to confirm the thread meets the specification.
  • Potential alternative solvents that may be used in the dry-cleaning procedure to replace perchloroethylene solvent as currently specified in Section 1610.6(b)(1)(i).
  • Potential alternatives to replace the specified automatic washing machine and tumble dryer in the laundering procedure of Section 1610.6(b)(1)(ii).
  • Comments related to the use or needed clarification of burning behavior codes.
  • Any other opportunities to reduce testing costs associated with 16 CFR 1610.

The notice is under a comment period through June 24, 2019.

North American Safety Agencies Create Uniform Recommendations for Product Testing

On April 3, 2019, technical staff of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and Mexico’s Consumer Protection Federal Agency (PROFECO) developed consensus recommendations to improve test methods for ensuring the safety of alternating current (AC) chargers and universal serial bus (USB) chargers.

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According to the notice issued by the CPSC, the three product safety agencies recommended new testing to assess the potential for fire and burn hazards caused by AC-powered chargers for small electronic devices. The strategy was to seek consensus approaches to consumer product hazards not yet being addressed through formal regulatory or standards work.

The trilateral team examined incident data and analyzed existing voluntary standards before proposing new testing procedures and requesting standards developers to add the tests to their current standards. Some examples of their recommendations are below.

  • Electrical performance (output voltage at open load, electrical output at rated load, Dielectric breakdown section, etc.) with reference to IEC 60950-1, IEC 62680-3 and CSA 22.2 No.0.23-15.
  • Security of blades with reference to UL 498 section 66, CSA 22.2 No. 223-2015, and ASTM F963-11.
  • Disassembly/internal physical examination with reference to IEC 60950-1.
  • Flammability with reference to UL 94.

US State of Maine Proposes Reporting Rule for PFOS in Certain Children’s Products

On March 22, 2019, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced a proposal to include perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in the list of priority chemicals under the state’s Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products law.

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If approved, manufacturers of children’s products, including but not limited to toys, textiles, furniture and food contact articles containing intentionally added PFOS are required to report the following information to the DEP.

  • Information on manufacturer
  • Product information
  • Technical details of PFOS when it is intentionally added in children’s products

Currently, the priority chemicals already regulated under Maine’s Safer Chemicals in Children’s Products Rule are:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Flame retardants: decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
  • Phthalates: di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPE)
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic

The proposal was under a comment period through May 6, 2019.

US State of California Proposes Restrictions on Cosmetic Ingredients

On March 27, 2019, the US State of California amended State Bill AB 495 proposing a prohibition of certain chemicals for use in cosmetics.

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The Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law prohibits the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding, or offer for sale of adulterated cosmetics. This bill intends to expand the scope of the law by proposing that cosmetics containing asbestos, lead, or any of the following intentionally added ingredients are considered adulterated and therefore may not be offered for sale.

  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formaldehyde releasers
  • Mercury and related compounds
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Toluene
  • Triclosan
  • Carbon black
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

The Bill is currently in Committee and will require a majority vote to become a law.

US State of New York Proposes to Regulate Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products

On March 4, 2019, the New York State Assembly issued Bill A06296, which proposes a new rule to require manufacturers of children’s products to report the presence of dangerous chemicals and chemicals of concern at practical quantification limits (PQLs).

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The Bill proposes an amendment to the state’s Environmental Conservation Law titled “Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products”. It includes the following key changes:

  • Introduces a list of chemicals of concern (over 100 chemicals) and dangerous chemicals (9 chemicals) as well as a plan to periodically review and modify the list in conjunction with the Department of Health
  • Requires reporting the use of dangerous chemicals or chemicals of concern in children’s products at PQL levels to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Children’s products containing dangerous chemicals cannot be sold or distributed three years after the dangerous chemical has been added to the list
  • Manufacturers of children’s products containing a dangerous chemical must notify downstream users on the presence of such a chemical and provide information regarding its toxicity
  • The DEC will notify consumers about children’s products containing chemicals of concern and dangerous chemicals via the Department’s website
  • Children’s products containing the following dangerous chemicals will be prohibited as of January 1, 2023:
    • Asbestos
    • Benzene
    • Formaldehyde other than in textiles
    • Organohalogen flame retardants
    • Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate

If approved, the new requirements will come into force on March 1, 2020.

Canada Recalls Summary (June 2018 - January 2019)

In Canada, when hazards are identified in consumer products, they will be recalled and published in the Recalls and Safety Alerts Database on the Health Canada website, which is updated daily. The Canada recalls from June 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019 are summarized below:

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Hazards Frequency
Injury Hazard 22
Fire Hazard 20
Choking Hazard 20
Burn Hazard 19
Product Safety 19
Fall Hazard 15
Other Hazards* 56
*Other Hazards include Allergic Hazard, Chemical Hazard, Crash Hazard, Cut Hazard, Delay in the search and rescue process of users, Drowning Hazard, Entanglement Hazard, Entrapment Hazard, Inhalation Hazard, Laceration Hazard, Microbial Hazard, Physical Hazard, Poisoning Hazard and Shock Hazard with a frequency of less than 15.
Product Categories Frequency
Toys and Childcare Articles 24
Consumer Chemicals 21
Sporting Goods / Equipment 14
Home Electrical Appliances (Hair Dryer, Iron, etc.) 11
Tools and Hardware 9
Homeware (Non-food Contact) 8
Other Categories^ 61
^Other Categories include Airbag, Candles & Burning Items and Accessories, Computer / Audio / Video / Other Electronics & Accessories, Cosmetics / Bodycare, Fabric / Textile / Garment / Home Textile, Food, Food Contact Material, Footwear, Furniture, Glasses, Jewelry, Watch or other Fashion Accessories, Juvenile Products, Lighting Equipment, Outdoor / Recreational Appliance, Personal Protective Equipment (excluding eye protection) and Pet Item with a frequency of less than 8.

For a complete list click here


New Version of EU Toy Standard is Published

On April 10, 2019, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published a new version of toy standard EN 71-3:2019: migration of certain elements. The Members of the CEN have to adopt the new standard and publish their own national version no later than October 31, 2019.

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The major technical changes in the new version of the toy standard are summarized below.

  • New legal limit of 0.053 mg/kg for Chromium (VI) for material category III has been adopted.
  • Calculation of the result of Chromium (III) has been revised.
  • Introduces new terms and definitions in sample preparation procedures.
  • List of reagents and apparatus has been revised.
  • Sampling and sample preparation have been revised and restructured to be more user-friendly.
  • The migration procedure has been revised and a more detailed pH checking procedure has been introduced.
  • Performance requirements concerning the use of modification to the annexes and alternatives to the specified test methods have been introduced.
  • Data on method performance have been introduced, in particular based on an inter-laboratory comparison.

In addition, new annexes have been introduced and revisions made to several of the existing annexes.


China Prohibits Certain POP Chemicals

On March 11, 2019, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China published Notice No. 10 of 2019 to announce the prohibition of the production, sale, use, import and export to China of certain POP chemicals.

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POP chemicals subject to the new rule are the following:

  • Lindane
  • Endosulfan
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and its salts
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOS-F)

Exemption of prohibition is granted for the following applications.

PFOS and its salts and PFOS-F used in etching agents, firefighting foams, metal plating, medical devices, semiconductor devices and photographic imaging.

The amendment came into force on March 26, 2019.

Hong Kong Updates Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance

On March 29, 2019, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) of Hong Kong announced an update to the Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance (Cap. 424) in order to incorporate the latest versions of international safety standards.

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Safety standards for toys and children's products listed in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Ordinance are intended to be updated as below.

Schedule 1

Updated Standards Standard Title
ISO 8124-1:2018 Safety of toys - Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
ISO 8124-4:2014 (incorporating Amendment 1:2017) Safety of toys - Part 4: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use
BS EN 71-3:2013 + A3:2018 Safety of toys - Part 3: Migration of certain elements
BS EN 71-7:2014 + A2:2018 Safety of toys - Part 7: Finger paints - Requirements and test methods
BS EN 71-8:2018 Safety of toys - Part 8: Activity toys for domestic use
BS EN 71-14:2014 + A1:2017 Safety of toys - Part 14: Trampolines for domestic use

Schedule 2

Updated Standards Standard Title
ASTM F1004-18 Standard consumer safety specification for expansion gates and expandable enclosures
BS EN 716-1:2017 Furniture - Children’s cots and folding cots for domestic use - Part 1: Safety requirements
BS EN 716-2:2017 Furniture - Children’s cots and folding cots for domestic use - Part 2: Test methods
BS EN 14988:2017 Children's high chairs: Requirements and test methods
ASTM F404-18 Standard consumer safety specification for high chairs
BS EN 71-3:2013 + A3:2018 Safety of toys - Part 3: Migration of certain elements
ASTM F406-17 Standard consumer safety specification for non-full-size baby cribs/play yards

The new version of the Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance will come into force on October 1, 2019.


SABER Platform Coverage Update

Saudi Standard, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) announced the latest additions of technical regulations (TR) to be implemented on SABER.

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The following technical regulations will be implemented on SABER. Products falling under this scope will have to be registered through SABER for importing into Saudi Arabia.

  1. Technical Regulations for Lift Used in Buildings and Installations
  2. Technical Regulations for Building Materials - part I - Metals and their Alloys for construction and buildings
  3. Technical Regulations for Building Materials - part II - Insulating and Cladding Materials for buildings
  4. Technical Regulations for Building Materials - part III - Hydraulic Links and Related Products
  5. Technical Regulations for Building Materials - part IV - Bricks, Tiles, Ceramics, Sanitary Ware and Related Products

With the addition of these technical regulations, there will be a total of 9 TRs being implemented on SABER by June. Please refer to the December regulatory recap for details on the SABER system. (See Regulatory Recap: December 2018)

The new rule will come into force on June 1, 2019

SASO New Requirements on Ceramic Building Materials

Saudi Standard, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) announced that the Saudi Quality Mark will be required for certain ceramic ware entering the Saudi Arabia market.

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Ceramic ware falling under the scope of Technical Regulations for Building Materials - Part IV - Bricks, Tiles, Ceramics, Sanitary Ware and Related Products will be required to bear the Saudi Quality Mark for entering Saudi Arabia.

New rule will come into force on September 13, 2019

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