Tracey Bischofberger
Tracey Bischofberger
Matt Howsare
Matt Howsare
Shawn Skolky
Shawn N. Skolky
Claire Temple
Claire Temple

15th edition – September 2021

Here’s the next edition of our monthly bite-sized digest, Productwise 3-2-1 where each month, we bring to the top of your inbox (and your agenda):

  • 3 key takeaways from the past month
  • 2 hotbed issues you should keep your eye on
  • 1 practice tip to keep you at the top of your game

This month it’s all about the UK Government’s extension of the grace period for the UKCA mark, the European Commission’s plans to simplify and digitize the labelling requirements for certain chemicals and plans to revise the CLP Regulation, changes afoot at the CPSC, upcoming EU legislation on the sustainability of products and staying up to date with changes on the horizon by attending ICPHSO’s 2021 International Virtual Symposium and the North America Product Safety Summit.

3 top things from the month just gone

  • UKCA mark deadline extended until 2023. The UK Government announced that it is giving businesses an additional year before they need to start using the new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) product safety marking. For products subject to the grace period, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced on 24 August 2021 that the UKCA mark will not now need to be applied until 1 January 2023, rather than the original deadline of 1 January 2022. Legislation will be introduced later this year to effect the change. Whilst on the face of it, this is welcome relief for businesses getting their compliance measures in place in order that they can apply the UKCA mark, in reality, this is largely driven by the fact there is a lack of availability of UK approved bodies to provide adequate conformity assessment services. Read our blog here to find out more.
  • European Commission looking at e-labelling for certain chemicals and public consultation opened on a revision of the CLP Regulation. The European Commission is looking at simplifying and streamlining labelling requirements for some categories of chemicals and chemical products, including potentially allowing digital labels (commonly referred to as e-labelling). The labelling requirements in scope include those under the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation), the Detergents Regulation and the Fertilising Products Regulation.  Feedback on the Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment setting out its plans at a high-level for the initiative closes on 20 September 2021, with a public consultation scheduled for later this year. See the Commission’s webpage for the initiative here to find out more. In other big chemicals news, on 9 August 2021 the Commission launched a public consultation on a revision of the CLP Regulation with feedback closing 15 November 2021. This consultation is one step in a much larger overhaul of the EU chemicals laws, which will include revising the REACH Regulation and other product-specific rules, such as those on cosmetics and food contact materials.  See our blog here to find out more – co-authored by our new Special Counsel, Emma Bichet.
  • Former Chairman Elliot Kaye departs CPSC. Committee votes set for 3 Commission nominees. Former Chairman of the CPSC, Elliot Kaye, departed the agency on 27 August 2021. An Obama appointee, Kaye was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2014, and served as Chairman of the agency until removed from the Chairmanship on 8 February 2017 by President Trump. Kaye’s term as a Commissioner expired on 27 October 2020, but he continued to serve for most of the one-year holdover allowed by the Consumer Product Safety Act. Kaye penned an Open Letter saying goodbye to CPSC staff and looking back on his time at the agency. Acting Chairman Bob Adler’s term expires in October 2021 and he announced earlier this year that he would not seek a third term. President Biden recently nominated Alex Hoehn-Saric as Chairman as well as Mary Boyle and Richard Trumka, Jr. as Commissioners for the CPSC. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held confirmation hearings for all three nominees in July and is set to formally vote on their nominations on September 22, 2021. The nominees are expected to be approved by the Committee and will then await a full Senate floor vote prior to joining the Commission.

2 things to look out for  

  • Proposed EU legislation setting down new rules for sustainable products coming out in December. Three related legislative proposals on sustainability are on the Commission’s agenda to be published in December 2021. The initiatives will have an impact on a wide range of consumer products placed on the EU market, affecting product design, labelling and marketing. The proposals cover: 1) the sustainable products initiative that aims to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and make products placed on the EU market more sustainable, durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy efficient (see our blog here to find out more); 2) strengthening the role of consumers in the green transition – a consumer law initiative that aims to help consumers to make informed decisions based on trustworthy and relevant information on the sustainability of products and to protect consumers against certain unsustainable commercial practices (see our blog here); and 3) substantiating green claims – that aims to standardize the methods companies use to substantiate claims they make about the environmental footprint of their products and services (see our blog here).

  • 2021 North America Product Safety Summit taking place 22-23 September 2021. The CPSC, Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Program (CPSP), and Mexico’s Consumer Production Federal Agency (PROFECO) will be hosting the 5th North America Consumer Product Safety Summit virtually on 22 and 23 September 2021. The summit will bring together regulators and stakeholders to discuss current and emerging trends, including e-commerce, COVID-19, safety for seniors, internet of things, and safety by design. The summit will also give insight into current bilateral and trilateral consumer product safety efforts that are being undertaken by the agencies, including a regulators panel. You can find more information about the summit here, the agenda here, and register to attend here.

1 top practice tip

  • Stay up to date with regulatory developments on the horizon by attending the ICPHSO 2021 International Virtual Symposium. The theme of the event is ‘The Safety Horizon: International Perspectives on the Future of Consumer Product Safety’, with various sessions exploring upcoming regulatory developments. ICPHSO (the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization) is an international, multi-stakeholder forum for product safety stakeholders to learn, network and share information. ICPHSO events are always a great opportunity to hear directly from regulators and share ideas with other product safety professionals. The event is being held virtually on27 and 28 of October. See here to find out more and register for the event.

Best wishes,

The Cooley Products Team

🌳

Posted by Tracey Bischofberger, Matt Howsare, Shawn N. Skolky and Claire Temple

Benjamin Sharrock is an associate in the Commercial Litigation department of Cooley’s London office. He advises on a broad range of complex contractual disputes, insurance and reinsurance disputes, regulatory investigations and white collar crime matters, across a variety of industry sectors and jurisdictions.