The US CPSC has recently published a direct final rule (DFR) mandating ASTM F963-2017 for toys with one exception. If no adverse comments are received, the new standard will become effective on February 28, 2018.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 185/17

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In August 2008, US President George W. Bush signed into law the ‘Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008’ (CPSIA). This landmark piece of legislation mandated that in February 2009, ASTM F963-07e1 was to become a mandatory consumer safety standard for toys.

Since ASTM F963 was mandated in February 2009, there have been four revisions to ASTM F963-07e1: the -2008, -2011, -2016 and -2017 versions of ASTM F963, the latter of which was published in August 2017. Changes in ASTM F963-2017 include [1], inter alia, editorial changes and substantive changes to provisions relating to projectiles and sound-producing toys.

On December 4, 2017, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a DFR in the Federal Register (82 FR 57119 [2]) to mandate ASTM F963-2017 as a consumer safety standard for toys, with one exception, and updates the existing notice of requirements (NOR) for acceptance of accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing to ASTM F963.

According to the Commission, the new language in section of ASTM F963-2017 functionally exempts pull/push toys from the A-weighted maximum sound pressure level (LAFmax) requirements and will decrease safety by allowing toys that produce sound levels that exceed noise exposure limits by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Apart from this new language, the Commission accepts all changes in ASTM F963-2017 as the mandatory standard.

To address the short transition from ASTM F963-2016 to ASTM F963-2017, the following are accepted by the Commission to permit acceptance of testing to support ASTM F963-2017 certification and laboratory accreditation:

  • Provided laboratories are CPSC-accepted for ASTM F963-2016, ASTM F963-2017 is automatically accepted. Laboratories that are accredited to ASTM F963-2011 and have not yet updated their scope to later versions may elect scope revisions to reflect ASTM F963-16 or ASTM F963-17
  • Maintain the interim allowance for laboratories accredited to ASTM F963-11 to test for ASTM F963-16 and ASTM F963-17

According to the DFR, the aforementioned procedure will avoid disruption to continuous third-party testing to the toy safety standard and allowing a practicable transition from ASTM F963-2011 to ASTM F963-2016 to ASTM F963-2017 for stakeholders.  

Once the DFR is published in the Federal Register as an amendment to 16 CFR Part 1112 ‘Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies [3]’, the CPSC will open the application process for all sections of ASTM F963-2017.

Highlights of the DRF are summarized in Table 1.

Effective Date
ASTM F963-2017
(Except § on exempting pull/push toys from A-weighted maximum sound pressure level requirements)
February 28, 2018
(Unless adverse comments are received by January 3, 2018)

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest toy safety requirements in ASTM F963 for the US market.

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Throughout the SGS global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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