Thousands of items are imported into the United States every day. Some of the items imported are classified as hazardous and thus have special regulations. Items are hazardous when they affect people handling the items, carriers transporting the item, or the general public. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission provides regulations for which importers into the United States must follow. Their job is to protect consumers from materials that are hazardous. Let’s take a look at some of the hazardous materials being imported into the United States that can affect the general public and how to comply with the regulations surrounding them.
Many infant products are made overseas and thus imported into the United States for distribution. Some of the most popular infant products imported into the U.S. include:
These types of materials are considered hazardous mainly because of the target market. Infants like to put everything in their mouth. Products like rattles and pacifiers are designed to stay in an infants mouths. For this reason, these products must be tested to be sure they do not present a choking hazard to infants. Similarly, cribs, walkers, and bath seats also have parts that could fall off and potentially end up in an infant’s mouth. Additionally, infants like bright colors, so the surface coating paint and phthalate content must meet the appropriate standard for infant products. Lead testing is huge for infant product requirements as well.
The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) require bicycles and other hazardous materials to pass strict regulation standards for safety. There are many parts that go into a bicycle including reflectors, brakes, and steering systems. Reflectors are a big part of safety because riders need to be seen at night. Of course, brakes are important to be able to stop the bike properly. Steering systems must be installed correctly and meet regulations for riders to be able to operate safely and successfully. Components like pedals, chains, and tires are also important to safety. Bicycles must come with an instruction manual telling the public all safety information and operational details. These items could be banned if they do not pass these safety standards.
Perhaps the most common product in a household is a cleaner of some type, and the main component of cleaners are chemicals. Many cleaners have chemicals that might clean well, but many chemicals are still considered toxic. The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations require hazardous household substances to provide cautionary labeling for the safe handling and use of the product. Also important is proper labeling on the bottle to give instructions on how to safely and cautiously handle any skin or eye exposure.
There are a variety of resources where importers and customers can find necessary information on hazardous material regulations. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides importers with Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) Requirements and import safety information. Guidelines, labeling information, and product guidance can also be accessed through the CPSC. They will also provide consumers with safety education, research, and an overall view of the regulations on different consumer products.
Here at AFC International, we are committed to helping our customers import hazardous materials safety. Our team is here to support and guide customers with the resources they need adhere to hazardous material regulations and guidelines.
Do you have questions about hazardous materials? Leave us a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.