Certification means the issuance of a written Children's
Product Certificate (CPC)
in which the manufacturer or
importer certifies that its children's product complies with all
applicable children's product safety rules (or similar rules, bans,
standards, or regulations under any law enforced by the Commission for
Certification of children's products must be based upon the passing
test results of third party testing. The third party testing
laboratory provides the testing services and results but does not
issue the children's product certificate.
Who must issue the Children's Product Certificate?
The manufacturer or importer is responsible for drafting and
issuing the CPC. The manufacturer or importer may draft the CPC by
itself, at no cost, based upon the the passing test results of the
third party testing.
The importer must issue the CPC for products manufactured overseas,
and the U.S. manufacturer must issue the CPC for products manufactured
domestically. See 16
CFR part 1110.
The manufacturer or importer of a children's product that is
subject to children's product safety rules or other standards is
always legally responsible for issuing a CPC, even if a third party
testing laboratory or another third party provides assistance in
drafting the CPC.
How much does a Children's Product Certificate cost?
There is no cost to create a CPC. The manufacturer or importer
drafts the CPC in a word processing document or other system. A
sample CPC is found here and
the list of citations to be included in a CPC can be found here.
(Citations are listed in Section 2 of the CPC.)
There is no cost to file a CPC with the government because filing a
CPC with the government is not required at this time.
Some laboratories and consultants may offer to assist you with
creating a CPC for a professional fee, but their assistance is
optional. The CPSC's
Small Business Ombudsman is available to offer you assistance for
To whom must I provide my Children's Product Certificate?
If you are a manufacturer or importer, you must "furnish" the
Children's Product Certificate to your distributors and retailers.
Additionally, federal law requires you to provide, upon request, a
copy of the Children's Product Certificate to the CPSC and to the
Commissioner of Customs.
The requirement to "furnish" the CPC is satisfied if the
manufacturer or importer provides its distributors and retailers a
reasonable means to access the certificate. You can provide an actual
hard copy of the certificate to your distributors and retailers, or
you can provide a dedicated website with that specific certificate on
your invoice. (See the answer addressing electronic certificates
Where must I file the Children's Product Certificate?
There is no requirement to file a CPC with the government.
The CPC must "accompany" the product shipment and be "furnished" to
distributors and retailers. Upon request, the CPC must be furnished
to the CPSC and to the Commissioner of Customs.
What if I sell directly to consumers and do not use retailers or
The law requires manufacturers or importers to issue a Children's
Product Certificate; that the certificate accompany each product or
shipment of products; that the certificate be furnished to retailers
and distributors; and that the certificate be provided to the CPSC,
upon request. Accordingly, you do not have to provide the certificate
to consumers in direct-to-consumer sales.
Does the CPSC have a sample Children's Product Certificate?
Yes. There is a model of how to draft a Children's
You are not required to, but you may, copy the layout and title the
document: "Children's Product Certificate" and include the details
pertinent to your product; or, if you prefer, you may create your own
form, as long as it captures all of the requirements listed in section
14(g) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (pdf). (The model Children's
Product Certificate captures all of the 14(g) requirements.)
Can one Children's Product Certificate certify that the product
complies with multiple children's product safety rules?
Yes. For example, if you are certifying that your product complies
with the ban on phthalates, the toy safety standard, limits on total
lead content and lead in paint, the small parts requirements, and
other applicable regulations, then Section 2 of your Children's
Product Certificate would read as follows:
15 USC 2057c: Determination of Phthalates in Toys
and Certain Children’s Products.
- ASTM F963-11, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy
Safety. (Note: You must list the specificnumeric sections
of the toy safety standard to which you are certifying. See this
listing of all the sections.)
15 USC 1278a: Lead in Children's Products
16 CFR Part 1303, Ban of Lead-Containing Paint and Certain
Consumer Products Bearing Lead-Containing Paint for Toys and Other
Articles Intended for Children.
16 CFR Part 1501, Small Parts Ban for Toys and Other Articles
Intended for Children under 3 Years of Age which Present Choking,
Aspiration, or Ingestion Hazards.
If your product is subject to an additional mandatory regulation,
rule, ban, or standard for which third party testing and certification
currently is required, then you would also include the citation to
that regulation, rule, ban, or standard as well.
The full title of each requirement is provided above for your
information only and does not need to be included in your children's
product certificate. You need only include the numerical citation code
included above or in this
What must I base my Children's Product Certificate on?
The certificate must be based on passing tests of sufficient
samples of each product, conducted by a
Is a Children's Product Certificate required for each shipment of
Yes. The law requires each import (and domestic manufacturer)
shipment to be "accompanied" by the required certificate. The
requirement applies to imports and products manufactured domestically.
Under CPSC regulations, an electronic certificate is "accompanying" a
shipment if the certificate is identified by a unique identifier and
can be accessed via a World Wide Web URL or other electronic means,
provided the URL or other electronic means and the unique identifier
are created in advance and are available with the shipment.
If I import children's products and the foreign
manufacturer has already tested and certified the product, do I need
to retest or recertify the product? Can I just pass along the foreign
manufacturer's children's product certificate?
CPSC requires that certificates of conformity be issued by the
domestic manufacturer or the importer of products made outside the
United States. This means that an importer cannot simply pass along a
foreign manufacturer's certificate of conformity. However, the
component part testing regulation, at 16 CFR part 1109, allows
importers to use a foreign manufacturer's test results or their
component part or finished product certifications of a children's
product to issue their own Children's Product Certificate, as long as
the importer exercises due care to ensure the validity of the test
results or the certificate and receives the documentation required by
Can electronic certificates, instead of paper certificates, be
used to meet the requirements of section 102 of the CPSIA?
The Commission has issued a rule specifically allowing the use of
an electronic certificate, as long as: the Commission has reasonable
access to it; it contains all of the information required by section
14 of the CPSA; and it complies with the other requirements of the
If I post the certificate of conformity - either a Children’s
Product Certificate or a General Certificate of Conformity - on the
Internet, do I need to change it for each shipment, batch, or lot of
If each shipment is materially unchanged from the prior shipment, a
single certificate of conformity may be acceptable, but the
certificate would need to describe the date range of products covered,
using either batch/lot information or other identifying information.
One Children's Product Certificate may apply to (or "cover")
multiple batches or lots of productions if you have exercised an
appropriate level of due care to ensure the continued compliance of
each additional batch or lot of production with all applicable
children's product safety rules.
Remember that although a single Children's Product Certificate may
"cover" more than one shipment or unit of production if a manufacturer
chooses to do so, the certificate would need to describe the date
range of products covered, using either batch/lot information or other
identifying information. For each new shipment or unit of production
entered into the stream of commerce, the Children's Product
Certificate would need to be updated to reflect the new group of
products. The manufacturer of the finished children's product will
need this information to ensure the accuracy of the tracking label
affixed to each children's product and its packaging.
Do I have to sign the Children's Product Certificate?
No. You do not have to sign the certificate. The act of issuing the
certificate satisfies the new law. Any statement that you issue must
be accurate whether it is signed or not.
My company is registered as a "small batch manufacturer" with the
CPSC, do I have to issue a Children's Product Certificate?
Yes. A registered small batch manufacturer must always certify its
children's products as compliant with the underlying children's
product safety rules applicable to each product.
For those rules in Group
A, the small batch manufacturer must base its Children's Product
Certificate (CPC) on third party testing performed by a CPSC-accepted
For those rules in Group
B, a qualifying small batch manufacturer does not have to issue a
CPC based on third party testing but still must issue a CPC based on
first party testing performed by any party, a reasonable testing
program or a certificate of conformity provided by a component part
supplier. To signal your participation in the program, a registered
small batch manufacturer would list its registration number in
Sections 6 & 7 of the Children's Product Certificate.
Are there penalties for failing to comply with the certificate
Yes. It is a violation of the CPSA to fail to furnish a Children's
Product Certificate, to issue a false certificate of conformity under
certain conditions, and to otherwise fail to comply with section 14 of
the CPSA. A violation of the CPSA could lead to a civil penalty and
possibly criminal penalties and asset forfeiture.
This communication has been prepared for general informational
purposes only and is based upon the facts and information presented.
This communication does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal
advice and has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and
does not necessarily represent their views. Any views expressed in
this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.