On April 30, 2024, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) published a direct final rule related to pre-filled portable fuel containers and the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act (“PFCSA”), 15 U.S.C. 2056d. The Act directed the CPSC to require flammable, liquid fuel containers of fewer than five gallons and intended for transport to include devices that impede flames from entering the container. Congress gave the CPSC the authority to either promulgate a rule or adopt an existing standard. Additionally, the Act requires the CPSC to educate consumers about dangers associated with using or storing such containers near an open flame or a source of ignition.

To meet the requirements of the PFCSA, on January 13, 2023, the CPSC published a notice determining that three voluntary standards for portable fuel containers would be treated as consumer product safety rules: ASTM F3429/F3429M-20 (pre-filled containers); ASTM F3326-21 (containers sold empty); and section 18 of UL 30:2022 (safety cans). On October 31, 2023, the CPSC published a direct final rule creating 16 CFR part 1461 for portable fuel containers to incorporate by reference the revised ASTM F3429/F3429M-23, as well as ASTM F3326-21 and section 18 of UL 30:2022. On January 29, 2024, ASTM notified the CPSC that it has revised ASTM F3429/F3429M-23 with the publication of ASTM F3429/F3429M-24. On February 9, 2024, the CPSC published a notice of availability and request for comment regarding ASTM F3429/F3429M-24. 89 FR 9078. The Prefilled Fuel Container Industry Association and the Household & Commercial Products Association submitted comments in support of the revisions in ASTM F3429/F3429M-24. Both commenters noted that the various revisions to the standard are important revisions that will improve consumer safety, and thus they support the Commission adopting ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 as the mandatory standard for prefilled portable fuel containers.

The CPSC has evaluated revised ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 and finds that the revisions to the standard carry out the purposes of the PFCSA. Accordingly, ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 will be incorporated into the mandatory standard for portable fuel containers.

Substantive revisions in ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 include a Flame Mitigation Devices (“FMDs”) retention test, a new option for some rigid containers to test using a different test gas, clarification of the requirements for certifying a “family of containers,” and clarification of existing testing procedures. There are also non-substantive revisions (adding a reference to new appendix information in the scope, adding a discussion to the definition of FMDs, indicating that FMDs may be an assembly comprised of several components, removing the term “reserved” from the functional test, and adding information that a functional test is not required, but best practices are included in the appendix.). The CPSC concluded that the revisions in ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 meet the requirements of section 2056d(b)(3)(A) of the PFCSA. This direct final rule updates the incorporation by reference in the Commission’s rule under the PFCSA to reflect ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 as the mandatory standard for prefilled portable fuel containers.

The rule, incorporating ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 will become effective on July 27, 2024, unless the CPSC receives a significant adverse comment by May 30, 2024. If the CPSC receives such a comment, it will publish a notice in the Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule before its effective date. This direct final rule’s effective date of July 27, 2024, which is the effective date of the ASTM F3429/F3429M-24 revision as a mandatory safety standard, does not alter the previously established effective date of July 12, 2023, for ASTM F3326-21 and section 18 of UL 30:2022 under the PFCSA. Products subject to the requirements of those standards are already required to meet those standards.

Interested parties may submit comments electronically to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail, hand delivery, or courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814. Comments containing confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information may be submitted by mail, hand delivery, or courier to the preceding address or via email to cpsc-os@cpsc.gov. For further information regarding the direct final rule, contact: Will Cusey, Small Business Ombudsman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone: (301) 504-7945 or (888) 531-9070; or email: sbo@cpsc.gov.