Companies importing, manufacturing, or selling consumer products in Pennsylvania are sometimes required to ensure compliance with state-level safety standards, substance restrictions, testing, labeling, and documentation requirements. In this guide, we introduce you to compliance requirements for stuffed toys, electronics, infant’s food or beverage containers, and other products sold in Pennsylvania.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Pennsylvania. It is not a complete guide and is not kept up to date. Further, keep in mind that national product regulations (e.g. CPSIA) apply in all states.
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Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act
The Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act regulates stuffed toys sold in Pennsylvania. It covers the following aspects:
- Design and general safety
- Fabric flammability
- Filling material disinfection
- Registration requirements
The Act applies to stuffed toys that are intended to be used by infants or children, which are filled with or contain fiber, chemicals, or other stuffing. Common examples of stuff toys include:
- Plush toys
- Animal figure furry stuffed toys
- Musical stuffed toys
- LED stuffed toys
This section covers the requirements set forth in the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act.
The Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act requires that the materials used to manufacture the stuffed toys must be new and free from dangerous or harmful chemicals or substances to children. In particular, the stuffed toys should not contain the following chemicals or substances:
- Lead < 0.002% by weight
- Arsenic 0.0002% < by weight
- Ammonia 5% < by weight
- Urea 1% < by weight
- Dirt < 1% by weight
- Oil or grease < 1% by weight
The Act classifies fabrics based on flame spread speed within a 12 square inch area of fabric:
- Class I (Relatively slow-burning)
- Class II (Moderately flammable)
- Class III (Relatively flammable)
- Class IV (Rapid and intense burning)
You can learn more about the different classes and relative flame spread speed on this page.
According to the Act, Classes I, II, and III fabrics are allowed to be used as stuffed toy coverings as these fabrics do not bear unusual burning characteristics. Conversely, Class IV fabrics are considered not suitable for stuffed toys because they are dangerously flammable and intensely burning.
The Act also provides a classification for non-fabric materials:
- Class V – Normal flammability
- Class VI – Rapid burning
In this case, it determines that non-fabric materials such as plastics, paints, and other non-fabric sections of the stuffed toys can only be used of they belong to Class V. Class VI non-fabric materials shall not be used to produce stuffed toys for children.
The Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act requires importers or manufacturers of stuffed toys to register with the Department of Labor and Industry for the permit to sell stuffed toys.
Importers or manufacturers should provide the following information and documents to the Department of Labor and Industry for the application of sales permit of stuffed toys in the state of Pennsylvania:
- Name and address of the company
- Type of stuffed toys
- Composition of the stuffing
- A sample of the stuffed toys they intended to sell
- A notarized statement that the submitted samples were chosen by random order
After receiving approval from the Department of Labor and Industry, importers or manufacturers of stuffed toys are allowed to sell their products in Pennsylvania. The label of a stuffed toy should bear the following information:
a. A statement declaring that the stuffed toy is made of all new material
b. The registration number of the manufacturer or importer received from the Department starts with the abbreviation REG. NO. PA.
Lab testing is often necessary to ensure that stuffed toys conform to the chemical substances and material flammability requirements set forth in the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act. Importers or manufacturers of stuffed toys should contact a reputable lab for getting a testing quotation.
BPA-Free Container Products for Infant Act
Pennsylvania House Bill 684 was introduced in Feb 2021 proposing to restrict the use of Bisphenol A in infant’s food or beverage containers. Currently, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs in Pennsylvania and is waiting for approval by the House.
The Bill proposes to regulate Bisphenol A in food and beverage containers that are used by infants under the age of 1 year old. Examples of such products include:
- Baby drinking bottles
- Infant’s learner cups
- Sippy cups
- Infant’s meal plates
This bill proposes to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of food or beverage containers intended for use by infants that contain Bisphenol A at a level above 0.00000001% by weight. (0.1 ppb).
Importers and manufacturers should also use the least toxic alternative when replacing Bisphenol A in infant’s food and beverage containers. Substances replacing Bisphenol A should not be carcinogens or toxicants that can cause birth defects, reproductive harm, or developmental harm to the users.
Once the Bill is passed into law, relevant parties should make sure their products comply with the legal requirements for Bisphenol A level and substituent substances by sending their products to a lab testing agency for tests.
Mercury-Free Thermostat Act
The Mercury-Free Thermostat Act prohibits the manufacturer, sales, installation, and unapproved disposal of mercury-contained thermostats in Pennsylvania. Importers and manufacturers of such products should also establish and maintain a recycling program for every citizen in the State of Pennsylvania to dispose of their out-of-service mercury thermostats.
The Mercury-Free Thermostat Act applies to mercury thermostats used in household or commercial environments. It does not cover mercury thermostats that are used during the manufacturing processes.
The Act prohibits the manufacture, sales, installation, and unapproved disposal of mercury thermostats in the State of Pennsylvania. it also requires manufacturers of mercury thermostats to establish and maintain a collection and recycling program for contractors and citizens in Pennsylvania.
The importer or manufacturer is responsible to submit the recycling program proposal and an annual report to the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth. The recycling program should achieve these goals:
a. Maximize the capture rate for out-out service mercury thermostats
b. Facilitate citizen’s recycling actions by setting up established recycling collection points and minimize the administrative fee
c. Educate the proper management and recycling processes
After the recycling program proposal is approved by the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth, importers, and manufacturers should submit an annual report by June 1st every year including the following information:
a. Number of mercury thermostats collected and recycled by the manufacturer in the previous year
b. The estimated total amount of mercury contained in the mercury components collected by the manufacturer in the previous year
c. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the collection and recycling program and improvement recommendations
d. Collection goals
Covered Device Recycling Act
The Covered Device Recycling Act requires importers and manufacturers of certain electronic devices must register with the Department of Environmental Protection before they are allowed to sell their products in the State of Pennsylvania. These importers and manufacturers shall also provide a recycling program for the citizens of Pennsylvania.
This Act applies to importers and manufacturers of the following type of electronic devices:
- Desktop computers
- Laptop computers
- Computer monitors
- Computer peripherals
Importers and manufacturers of covered electronic devices to register with the Department of Environmental Protection before they can sell their products in Pennsylvania. The registration shall be renewed once a year.
Importers and manufacturers of covered electronic devices in Pennsylvania should also establish and maintain a recycling program for their products and submit the proposal for the Department’s approval. Finally, the Act sets up labeling requirements.
Importers and manufacturers should submit the brand names and the total weight of all the covered devices they are selling for registration and annual renewal.
Importers and manufacturers of covered electronic devices must indicate the brand name on the product label. The label should also include information declaring whether they own the product or are licensed to sell the product.
Bedding and Upholstery Regulations
The Bedding and Upholstery Regulations of Pennsylvania set up rules for importers and manufacturers of bedding products regarding the registration, labeling, and disinfection requirements.
The Bedding and Upholstery Regulations of Pennsylvania apply to the following type of products and all types of upholstered furniture, and other filled beddings:
These Regulations stipulate that each importer, manufacturer, and supplier of upholstered bedding products should register with the Department of Labor and Industry and receive a registration number before they can sell their products in Pennsylvania. They should also ensure that the product complies with the relevant labeling requirements.
These Regulations require that each covered upholstered product should bear a firmly attached tag with the registry number and the filling material composition. The tag specifications are as follow:
a. The tag should not be made of paper
b. The tag shall not be less than 6 inches in area
c. The filling material used shall be stamped or printed on the tag in boldface type, not less than 1/8 inch in height
Safe Packaging Act
The Safe Packaging Act of Pennsylvania regulates the level of toxic materials used in packaging and its components. Importers and manufacturers of the covered packaging should also provide a Certificate of Compliance to the retailers.
The Safe Packaging Act applies to the following types of packages and the package components:
- Carrying cases
- Rigid foil
- Wrapping films
- Package cushioning
- Package strapping
- Dyes and pigments
- Label materials
- Package adhesives
The Act requires that the following packagings containing the following types of heavy metal on the packaging or its component shall not be more than 0.01% by weight:
- Hexavalent chromium
This Act stipulates that importers and manufacturers of covered packaging should provide a certificate of compliance to the purchase stating that the packages comply with the requirements set forth in the Act.
Importers and manufacturers of packaging in Pennsylvania should make sure their products comply with the heavy metal concentration level requirements by the Safe Packaging Act prior to selling these products. The safest way is to consult a lab testing company and perform lab tests according to the requirements of the Act.
|Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act||Link|
|BPA-Free Container Products for Infant Act||Link|
|Mercury-Free Thermostat Act||Link|
|Covered Device Recycling Act||Link|
|Bedding and Upholstery Regulations||Link|
|Safe Packaging Act||Link|