2012 Safety Academy: Section 6(b) of the CPSA


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CPSC's assistant general counsel discusses 6(b) rule.


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2012 Safety Academy: Section 6(b) of the CPSA

  1. 1. U.S. Consumer Product SafetyCommission-2012 Safety Academy Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act This presentation was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not reflect the views of, the Commission.
  2. 2. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Melissa V. Hampshire, Assistant General Counsel Division of Enforcement and Information Office of the General CounselThis presentation was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not reflect the views of, the Commission.
  3. 3. Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act• What is it? A information disclosure statute that the CPSC must follow before publicly disclosing information about any consumer product - applies to disclosure of product specific information• What Does it Require the Commission to Do? - provide 15 days notice to the manufacturer or private labeler of the information to be disclosed - provide an time for an opportunity to submit comments to the Commission - respond to comments
  4. 4. Section 6(b) of the CPSASection 6(b) applies the Commission’s publicdisclosure of any product specific information of anidentified manufacturer or private labeler.Requires the Commission to take reasonable stepsto assure, prior to its public disclosure, that theinformation from which the identity of themanufacturer or private labeler may be readilyascertained is accurate, and that such disclosure isfair in the circumstances and reasonably related toeffectuating the purposes of the CPSA. (15 U.S.C. § 2055(b)(1)).
  5. 5. Section 6(b)(1) Less than 15 days notice• If Commission publishes a finding that the public health and safety requires a lesser period of notice• Requires publication of the finding 5
  6. 6. Section 6(b)(2) - Timing• Time for notification to manufacturer /private labeler of the Commission’s intent to disclose information over manufacturer’s/private labeler’s 6(b) objections 5 days after the date of receipt of notification• Commission could provide lesser notice (than 5 days) if publishes a finding that public health and safety requires lesser notice 6
  7. 7. Section 6(b)(4) Exceptions Prohibited Acts• Exceptions to providing notice and opportunity for comment• Allows the Commission to publicly disclose information about any consumer product for which the Commission has reasonable cause to believe is in violation of any consumer product safety rule or provision of this Act or similar rule or provision of any other Act enforced by the Commission 7
  8. 8. Section 6(b)(5) Exceptions to 15(b)• Information submitted under section 15(b) is protected unless an exception listed in section 6(b)(5) applies.• One new exception since 2008:• The Commission publishes a finding that the public health and safety requires public disclosure with a lesser period of notice than required under section 6(b)(1) (i.e. less than 15 days notice) (Section 6(b)(5)(D)) 8
  9. 9. Commission Regulations Commission has regulations at 16 C.F.R. Parts 1015 (FOIA) and 1101 (Section 6(b)). 16 C.F.R § 1101.12 – defines who is the public under section 6(b)16 C.F.R. § 1101.32-34 – describes what are “reasonable steps” to assure that disclosure of information is accurate, fair and reasonably related to the CPSA 9
  10. 10. Judicial Review• Under section 6(b)(3) of the CPSA, after receiving notice of intended disclosure the manufacturer or private labeler may bring an action in U.S. District Court seeking to enjoin disclosure of the information. 15 U.S.C. § 2055(b)(3).
  11. 11. 6(b) notice on Investigations• If the Commission is asked whether we are investigating the Subject Product or Firm, the Commission intends to disclose that the staff is investigating. In addition, the Commission may, on its own initiative, disclose the existence of this investigation into the Subject Product or Firm. For these reasons, we are beginning the disclosure notification process under Section 6(b) of the CPSA. Any disclosure of information by the Commission related to the Subject Product or Firm beyond the fact that the Commission is investigating will trigger an additional Section 6(b) disclosure notification.
  12. 12. Section 6A - Database• Reports of consumer product harm (illness, injury, or death or risk of such)• Received from: consumers, local, State or Federal government agencies; health care professionals, child service providers; public safety entities, and any information CPSC receives based on a public recall announcement• Provisions of section 6(a) and (b) do not apply to disclosure of a report in the database 12
  13. 13. Section 6A Database-Exclusions• Does not apply to information submitted: – under section 15(b) of the CPSA – Mandatory/Voluntary reporting program between CPSC and retailer, manufacturer or private labeler 13
  14. 14. Consumer Product Safety• CommissionMr. Dean W. Woodard U.S. CPSCDirector Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman dwoodard@cpsc.gov business@cpsc.gov