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CPSC speaks out on retrofit kits, layaway policies for new crib regulations

Fourteen days before the new crib regulations go into effect, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has formally addressed the issue of retrofit kits, layaway policies, and export of non-compliant cribs in a series of FAQs on its website. 

As to whether a retrofit kits can be used - the answer is yes, provided a model is tested to the new 16CFR standards with the retrofit kits. 

"Under some circumstances, it may be possible to retrofit unused, noncompliant crib inventory to meet the new crib standards," the website says. "To comply with the new standards, an existing crib model -- with the retrofit in place -- must be put through the complete test regimen. In other words, the crib model, as it exists in inventory, must be tested with the retrofit, and it must meet all the provisions of the relevant new standards and be certified to the applicable new standards prior to its sale."

If a retrofit kit is used, the website says, it is the manufacturer's or importer's responsibility to provide certification of the retrofitted crib. The CPSC will not approve retrofit methods, but rather will rely on the manufacturer's certification of compliance. Retrofits cannot be used on used merchandise.

The CPSC also addresses the details of a retailer selling a crib before June 28, but a customer not taking delivery of that crib until after June 28. 

The website says that provided a customer pays the full amount due on the crib before June 28, "the sale is complete and the crib effectively is in the customer's possession when the crib has been paid in full."

However, the site goes on to say, if the customer pays only part of the price of the crib before June 28 without taking possession of the crib, such as is common in layaway, the crib must meet the new crib standards. 

"Under these circumstances, a retailer could not legally provide a noncompliant crib to the customer after June 28, 2011," the website says.

And if a company has an inventory of non-compliant cribs, they will be allowed to export the cribs from to another country, providing that after June 28 they first notify the CPSC and follow the procedures stated in 16 CFR part 1019, pertaining to Export of Noncomplying, Misbranded, or Banned Products. 

The CPSC also said that they will be the main agency enforcing the new crib standards. 

"The intial focus will be on manufacturers and retailers since they must comply with the new standards by June 28, 2011," the website says. Additionally, states' attorneys general also have authority to enforce the crib standards through injunctions.

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