CPSC Acting Chair Encourages Continued Collaboration and Engagement with Toy Industry

The honorable Ann Marie Buerkle spoke during the “Toy Safety & Compliance Update” at Toy Fair

February 19, 2018 | Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), thanked the toy industry for ensuring that toys are both safe and fun for children and encouraged continued collaboration and engagement between the agency and industry stakeholders. Her comments were made during a pre-recorded video message aired during The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety & Compliance Update,” attended by manufacturers, retailers, toy inventors, testing labs, and other attendees of the 115th North American International Toy Fair.

Buerkle updated session attendees on a number of regulatory actions taken recently by the CPSC that affect manufacturers and retailers of toys and children’s products, including banning additional phthalates in toys and other children products. In addition, the CPSC will begin rulemaking to ban certain flame retardants in consumer products.

The agency is also currently reviewing industry responses to a recent request for information on how CPSC can reduce third-party testing burdens on companies. Buerkle recognizes “the burdens and costs regulations and testing requirements can place on manufacturers and retailers” and is “committed to reducing those burdens,” she noted.

“I am invested in working with all of our stakeholders to increase recall effectiveness and improving all aspects of consumer product safety,” Buerkle said. However, “engagement is a two-way street. Please engage with me and our agency if you do not already participate in the voluntary standards development.”

Led by The Toy Association’s external affairs team, the seminar provided industry professionals with news and developments related to toy safety laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad.

Al Kaufman, the Association’s senior vice president of technical affairs, and Christian Wetterberg, LEGO Group’s senior director and global head of product safety and compliance discussed important U.S., EU, and global toy safety standard updates, and what’s on the horizon for ASTM F963, EN-71, and ISO 8124. Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, spoke about intellectual property (IP) protection issues and gave an overview of the Association’s IP Committee.

Jennifer Gibbons, vice president of state government affairs, led an overview of 2018 state legislative and regulatory activity impacting toys. Sheila Millar, partner at Keller & Heckman, closed the session’s formal presentation with a discussion on connected toys and concerns about children’s privacy and security. The session ended with a question-and-answer period.

The seminar was open to all Toy Fair participants. A recording and slides of the presentation will be available on The Toy Association website in the coming days.