Furniture makers involved in the production of clothing storage units should take note of a mandatory stability rule proposed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
On February 2, the CPSC published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for clothing storage furniture in the Federal Register, officially opening a 75-day comment period on the 1,100-page rule. Comments are due April 19, 2022, and must be posted to the docket found at regulations.gov (Docket No. CPSC-2017-0044).
The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), which represents manufacturers and importers of residential furniture, urges companies with bedroom furniture representing a significant segment of their business to read the Federal Register notice and submit comments.
The proposed rule was initially released by the CPSC in July 2021 after years of extensive research on tip-over incidents to ensure clothing storage furniture is more stable when small children interact with it. While the AHFA and its member companies support a mandatory furniture stability rule to help prevent tip-over incidents, the organization has raised several key concerns with ambiguities in the proposed rule and will oppose it, according to a statement released in February.
“While we applaud the CPSC’s commitment to a mandatory furniture stability standard, AHFA believes the direction the agency has taken in its proposed rulemaking creates an ambiguous testing protocol that would be unenforceable,” Andy Counts, CEO of the AHFA, said in the statement.
“Further, CPSC’s estimates of the rule’s compliance costs are dramatically understated. Actual costs for product redesign, testing, reinforced packaging and transportation will force many companies specializing in entry-level products out of the market.”