Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which became law in August of 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was required to create a public database to catalogue consumer complaints on products.  On March 11, the CPSC opened this new product database — www.saferproducts.gov. 

The website allows both consumers and manufacturers to view complaints regarding the safety of all consumer goods. Cheryl Falvey, the CPSC's chief legal enforcement officer, will be the
keynote speaker at SGMA's 4th Annual Litigation and Risk Management
Summit (April 4-5; Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel; New Orleans,

“It's dynamic that Cheryl Falvey, one of the most knowledgeable people in this country about the CPSC database and all other topics related to CPSC and CPSIA, is speaking next month at SGMA's Litigation and Risk Management Summit,” said SGMA President/CEO Tom Cove.  “SGMA and our Legal Task Force are perfectly positioned to help the industry navigate complicated and dangerous waters!”

The leadership of SGMA has met with the CPSC to discuss the database and learn more about the implementation plan, complaint posting process, manufacturer notification of complaints, and their opportunity to respond.  Listed below is a summary of key points that SGMA has addressed in its meetings with the CPSC:
Company accounts  can be created on-line at www.saferproducts.gov:

o   Required information:  
o   Company name, address and telephone number
o   Type of company (i.e. manufacturer, importer, distributor, retailer etc)
o   Name, title, telephone, and e-mail for primary point of contact
o   E-mails for company representatives authorized to view complaints (up to five)
A manufacturer's point of contact for CPSC:
o    CPSC will recognize only one point of contact per account
o    A manufacturer's response to product complaints must come from the point of contact
Companies can set up multiple accounts:
o    There can be an additional point of contact for a specific brand, division, product line etc.
Companies are not required to register with the CPSC

Product Complaints
Complaints are limited to 'Product Safety'
Reports will be reviewed for accuracy, credibility and must include:
o    Description of product
o    Product manufacturer
o    Report on harm incurred or risk of harm presented by the product   
o    Name and address of complaint filer
o    Sign off on statement verifying accuracy of report
o    Complaints will be posted ten days after the CPSC review
Optional Information:
o    Date and location of incident
o    Medical treatment received
o    Photos of product
o    E-mail/phone contact information of complaint filer
Product complaints will be reviewed for compliance with all requirements
A manufacturer will be notified of the complaint on its product:
o    A manufacturer's point of contact will receive official notice   
o    A manufacturer must be registered to receive notification
Trade associations will not be notified of complaints
A manufacturer has ten days from the time of notice to respond:
o    A manufacturer's response will be included in complaint file and publicly available
Retailers will not be notified unless a product is marketed/sold under retailer private label:
o    Only the point of contact for private label company will be notified
o    The retailer/private label must have account with the CPSC
Foreign companies may create an account with the CPSC
Importers of products from a foreign company must register to receive notices:
o    Importers will have notification priority over foreign manufacturer
Manufacturer Identification
Product lines will be used to distinguish manufacturers with the same names
Company Acquisitions
If a company is acquired, notification of complaints will be provided to purchasing company:
o    Purchasing company must update existing CPSC account or create an account for the new company.