Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) Compliance

Our experts in the Environmental, Health, and Safety Department want to keep you aware of regulations that you need to know about. One important regulation that printers need to be aware of is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Here you will find information you need to understand this regulation and resources to help you stay in compliance.


On August 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The legislation, in large part a response to high-profile recalls of both imported and domestically produced children’s toys and products, greatly expands the authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and regulates potentially hazardous children’s products, among other things. Specifically, the Act establishes lead and phthalate (e.g., plasticizers that could be found in inks, coatings, and adhesives) content limits and requires testing and certifying of products to ensure they do not exceed these limits. These new regulations include children’s books and other printed materials as products subject to the new limits and testing requirements. Lead and phthalate limits and testing requirements went into effect February 10, 2011.

On August 12, 2011, President Obama signed into law the House of Representatives Bill 2715 (H.R. 2715). The bill’s passage was the culmination of more than two years of effort by the Printing Industries of America and a coalition of other key printing groups before the Consumer Product Safety Commission and in the halls of Congress. Considerable resources were dedicated to providing environmental data, explaining print manufacturing processes, and urging lawmakers to take action to undo or reduce the unintended consequences of the original law passed in 2008.

The bill provided much-needed flexibility and discretion to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement this law, and most importantly it excludes all paper-based printed materials and most children’s books from onerous third-party testing and certification requirements now in place for any and all products marketed to children 12 years of age or younger. While all children’s manufactured products received a measure of general relief from CPSIA, “ordinary books” and “paper-based printed materials” (see legislative definition below) were one of only two product categories to gain an exclusion from the environmental and consumer regulation. Youth all-terrain vehicles/bicycles composed the other category.

In addition to the changes brought by H.R. 2715, CPSC has provided for exemptions from testing and certification for certain component materials, and two testing rules addressing component testing and product testing have been issued in final form. Since the stay on all testing and certification has been lifted, products that require third-party testing and certification must be done prior to them being distributed in commerce. The name of the required certificate was revised with the product testing rule and is now identified as a Children’s Product Certification (CPC).

For more background on the CPSC and legislative action history, please visit our Government Advocacy CPSIA page.

Below you will find resources to assist you with determining if your products need to be tested and certified and to help you meet CPSIA requirements.

Compliance Resources for Printers

If you would like more information or have additional questions, please contact Gary Jones by clicking here.

Published on Thursday, August 30, 2012 (updated 06/02/2016)

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