As of March 11, 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) will begin publishing “reports of harm” it receives on consumer products under its jurisdiction. Obviously, this will have wide-ranging impact on manufacturers and private labelers of consumer products. Now is the time to get procedures in place to handle the new database. We’ll be tracking developments on the CPSC’s implementation of its publicly available database.

On October 14, 2010, the CPSC published a draft final rule to establish a publicly available product safety information database. Section 212 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires the CPSC to create such a database, which must become publicly available no later than March 11, 2011. Once available, the database will provide a forum for identified categories of individuals to submit reports of harm caused by the use of products or substances regulated by the CPSC. The database will also provide an arena for manufacturers and private labelers to comment on these submitted reports of harm, and on information relating to publicly-announced voluntary product recalls. In addition to specifying the content of the publicly-available database, the CPSC’s draft final rule provides processes through which a manufacturer or private labeler can intervene if it deems reported information to be confidential or materially inaccurate.

The CPSC is scheduled to vote on this draft final rule on November 17, 2010.

Additional content for this post provided by Jennifer Knight and Rebecca Baden.