Articles and Speeches
CPSIA Changes Demand Proactive Compliance
October 24, 2011
Cite: reprinted with permission of In-House Defense Quarterly, a DRI publication
John F. Kuppens
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) significantly increased the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) power to regulate product hazards that pose a risk of harm to consumers. Among the major changes implemented by the CPSIA are (1) shorter deadlines for responding to the CPSC to prevent the commission from disclosing information publicly, (2) enhanced CPSC enforcement power, and (3) dramatic increases to the upper limits of the civil and criminal penalties that the CPSC can seek. This article focuses on the third category of these changes, discusses how the CPSC has used its newfound powers to penalize offending entities, and offers advice on how companies that are subject to CPSC rules can avoid or lessen their exposure to civil and criminal penalties.