Revisions to Safety Standard for Carriages and Strollers

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 149 (Friday, August 2, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 149 (Friday, August 2, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37763-37767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-16524]
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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
[Docket No. CPSC-2013-0019]
16 CFR Part 1227
Revisions to Safety Standard for Carriages and Strollers
AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.
ACTION: Direct final rule.
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SUMMARY: In March 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) published a consumer product safety standard for carriages and
strollers. The standard incorporated by reference the applicable ASTM
voluntary standard. ASTM has since published two revisions to the
voluntary standard for carriages and strollers. We are publishing this
direct final rule revising the CPSC's mandatory standard for carriages
and strollers to incorporate, by reference, the most recent version of
the applicable ASTM standard.
DATES: The rule is effective on November 5, 2019, unless we receive
significant adverse comment by September 3, 2019. If we receive timely
significant adverse comments, we will publish notification in the
Federal Register, withdrawing this direct final rule before its
effective date. The incorporation by reference of the publication
listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register
as of November 5, 2019.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2013-
0019, by any of the following methods:
    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal
eRulemaking Portal at: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments. The CPSC does not accept comments
submitted by electronic mail (email), except through
www.regulations.gov. The CPSC encourages you to submit electronic
comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.
    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions in the following
way: Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper, disk, or CD-ROM
submissions), preferably in five copies, to: Division of the
Secretariat, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East
West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name
and docket number for this proposed rulemaking. All comments received
may be posted without change, including
[[Page 37764]]
any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal
information provided, to: https://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit
confidential business information, trade secret information, or other
sensitive or protected information that you do not want to be available
to the public. If furnished at all, such information should be
submitted in writing.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to: www.regulations.gov, and insert the docket
number, CPSC-2013-0019, into the ``Search'' box, and follow the
prompts.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keysha Walker, Compliance Officer,
Office of Compliance and Field Operations, Consumer Product Safety
Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814-4408; telephone:
301-504-6820; email: [email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
A. Background
1. Statutory Authority
    Section 104(b)(1)(B) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
(CPSIA), also known as the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety
Notification Act, requires the Commission to promulgate consumer
product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The
law requires that these standards are to be ``substantially the same
as'' applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the
voluntary standards if the Commission concludes that more stringent
requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with
the product.
    The CPSIA also sets forth a process for updating CPSC's durable
infant or toddler standards when the voluntary standard upon which the
CPSC standard was based is changed. Section 104(b)(4)(B) of the CPSIA
provides that if an organization revises a standard that has been
adopted, in whole or in part, as a consumer product safety standard
under this subsection, it shall notify the Commission. In addition, the
revised voluntary standard shall be considered to be a consumer product
safety standard issued by the Commission under section 9 of the
Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2058), effective 180 days after
the date on which the organization notifies the Commission (or such
later date specified by the Commission in the Federal Register) unless,
within 90 days after receiving that notice, the Commission notifies the
organization that it has determined that the proposed revision does not
improve the safety of the consumer product covered by the standard and
that the Commission is retaining the existing consumer product safety
standard.
2. The Carriage and Stroller Standard
    On March 10, 2014, the Commission published a final rule issuing a
standard for carriages and strollers that incorporated by reference the
standard in effect at that time, ASTM F833-13b, with a modification to
address potential hazardous openings created by adjustable grab bar/
tray and foot rest configurations. 79 FR 13208. The standard was
codified in the Commission's regulations at 16 CFR part 1227. The ASTM
standard was revised in 2015, and the Commission incorporated by
reference the revised standard, ASTM F833-15, without modification, as
the mandatory standard for carriages and strollers on June 9, 2016. 81
FR 37128. On May 9, 2019, ASTM notified the Commission that it has
revised ASTM's standard for carriages and strollers; the current ASTM
standard is ASTM F833-19. The CPSC reviewed the changes between the
current CPSC standard, 16 CFR part 1227 and ASTM F833-19.
B. Revisions to the ASTM Standard
    The ASTM standard for carriages and strollers establishes
performance requirements, test methods, and labeling requirements to
address hazards to children associated with carriages and strollers
including stability, brakes, restraint systems, latches and folding
mechanisms, structural integrity, cords, wheel detachments, and
entrapment.
    There are several differences between 16 CFR part 1227 and the
revised version of the standard, ASTM F833-19, Standard Consumer Safety
Performance Specification for Carriages and Strollers, approved March
15, 2019. We summarize the differences and the CPSC's assessment of the
revisions below.
    Tray/Grab Bar Protective Covering. The 2019 version of the ASTM
standard adds a new definition, performance requirement, test method,
and warning for a ``tray/grab bar protective covering'' (Sections
3.1.25, 5.14, 7.19, 8.3.). A ``tray/grab bar protective covering'' is
defined as a ``component designed and intended as a means to prevent
exposure of any underlying accessible foam material.'' Carriages and
strollers that have accessible foam trays/grab bars are required to
have a protective covering that can withstand 15 lbf without exposing
the underlying foam. If the covering is removable, the foam is required
to have a warning that states: ``WARNING Children can choke on foam.
Only use with the cover installed.''
    CPSC staff's review of these provisions shows that the additional
language will help address incidents of children biting foam on
stroller arm bars, which poses a choking hazard. CPSC issued two
recalls related to this hazard in July 2015 \1\ and in January 2016.\2\
The revised language improves the safety of carriages and strollers
because the addition of a physical barrier decreases the likelihood
that a child will have access to foam on the tray/grab bar, which
reduces their exposure to the choking hazard.
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    \1\ See https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2015/UPPAbaby-Recalls-Strollers-and-RumbleSeats.
    \2\ See https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/Britax-Recalls-Strollers-and-Replacement-Top-Seats/.
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    Static Load Test. The 2019 version of the ASTM standard adds a note
specifying that an unacceptable condition identified by the static load
test methods includes a ``failure to support the test weight'' in
addition to tip over, collapse of the product or a component of the
product, sharp edges or points and small parts. (NOTE 5, referenced in
Section 6.2.5). If a stroller fails to support the test weight during
the static load test (Section 7.3), the stroller is considered to have
failed the static load test. Previous versions of the voluntary
standard did not state this explicitly as a failure mode. CPSC staff's
review shows that the revision improves the safety of carriages and
strollers because a stroller that fails to support the test weight, may
pose a hazard to a child occupant.
    Change in units for static load from lbf (N) to lb (kg). The 2019
version of the ASTM standard changes the units for the static load in
Section 6.2.1 and Section 6.2.4 in the performance requirements, from
force units, lbf (N), to mass units, lb (kg). The static load test
method, which is not changed in the 2019 version of the standard,
specifies that the static load is a mass placed on the product (Section
7.3). CPSC staff determines that the revised language accurately
reflects the loading described in the test method, but does not change
the test method. Accordingly, this change is neutral regarding safety.
    Change in ASTM standard language. The 2019 version of the ASTM
standard adds language (Section 1.5), stating that ASTM developed the
standard in accordance with principles recognized by the World Trade
Organization. This change is neutral regarding safety.
[[Page 37765]]
    Correction to the unit conversion for the head probe. The 2019
version of the ASTM standard corrects an inaccurate conversion of 8
inches to millimeter (``200 mm'' to ``203 mm'') for the FIG. 10 Head
Probe. The correction was also made to the Rationale for Fig. 10 in
Section X1.3. CPSC staff's review shows that this correction does not
affect testing because there is no change to the test fixture. This
change is neutral regarding safety.
    Editorial revisions. The 2019 version of the ASTM standard includes
several non-substantive editorial changes that do not affect the safety
of carriages and strollers, such as formatting, spacing, and spelling
changes (i.e.,``5th'' to ``5th'',``9N'' to ``9 N'',
``tray(s)or'' to ``tray(s) or'' and ``competed'' to ``completed'').
    Assessment of the revisions to the ASTM standard. Under section 104
of the CPSIA, unless the Commission determines that ASTM's revision
``does not improve the safety of the consumer product covered by the
standard,'' ASTM F833-19 will become the new mandatory standard for
carriages and strollers. As discussed above, based on the CPSC staff's
review, the Commission believes that certain revisions are neutral
regarding safety. However, other revisions will improve the safety of
standard, including the addition of a performance requirement for a
tray/grab bar protective covering and the addition of a failure mode to
static load tests. Therefore, the revised ASTM standard for carriages
and strollers will become the new CPSC standard 180 days after the date
the CPSC received notification of the revision from ASTM, November 5,
2019. This rule revises the incorporation by reference at 16 CFR part
1227, to reference the ASTM standard, ASTM F833-19.
C. Incorporation by Reference
    The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has regulations concerning
incorporation by reference. 1 CFR part 51. Under these regulations,
agencies must discuss, in the preamble to the final rule, ways that the
materials the agency incorporates by reference are reasonably available
to interested persons and how interested parties can obtain the
materials. In addition, the preamble to the final rule must summarize
the material. 1 CFR 51.5(b).
    In accordance with the OFR's requirements, section B of this
preamble summarizes the major provisions of the ASTM F833-19 standard
that the Commission incorporates by reference into 16 CFR part 1227.
The standard is reasonably available to interested parties, and
interested parties may purchase a copy of the standard from ASTM
International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken,
PA 19428-2959 USA; phone: 610-832-9585; www.astm.org. A copy of the
standard can also be inspected at CPSC's Division of the Secretariat,
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West
Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-7923.
D. The Congressional Review Act
    The Congressional Review Act (CRA; 5 U.S.C. 801-808) states that,
before a rule may take effect, the agency issuing the rule must submit
the rule, and certain related information, to each House of Congress
and the Comptroller General. 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1). The submission must
indicate whether the rule is a ``major rule.'' The CRA states that the
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) determines whether
a rule qualifies as a ``major rule.'' Pursuant to the CRA, OIRA
designated this rule as not a ``major rule,'' as defined in 5 U.S.C.
804(2). In addition, to comply with the CRA, the Office of the General
Counsel will submit the required information to each House of Congress
and the Comptroller General.
E. Certification
    Section 14(a) of the CPSA requires that products subject to a
consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban,
standard, or regulation under any other act enforced by the Commission,
be certified as complying with all applicable CPSC requirements. 15
U.S.C. 2063(a). Such certification must be based on a test of each
product, or on a reasonable testing program, or, for children's
products, on tests on a sufficient number of samples by a third party
conformity assessment body accredited by the Commission to test
according to the applicable requirements. As noted in the preceding
discussion, standards issued under section 104(b)(1)(B) of the CPSIA
are ``consumer product safety standards.'' Thus, they are subject to
the testing and certification requirements of section 14 of the CPSA.
    Because carriages and strollers are children's products, samples of
these products must be tested by a third party conformity assessment
body whose accreditation has been accepted by the Commission. These
products also must comply with all other applicable CPSC requirements,
such as the lead content requirements in section 101 of the CPSIA, the
phthalates prohibitions in section 108 of the CPSIA, the tracking label
requirement in section 14(a)(5) of the CPSA, and the consumer
registration form requirements in section 104(d) of the CPSIA.
F. Notice of Requirements
    In accordance with section 14(a)(3)(B)(iv) of the CPSIA, the
Commission has previously published a notice of requirements (NOR) for
accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing
carriages and strollers (79 FR 13208 (March 10, 2014)). The NORs
provided the criteria and process for our acceptance of accreditation
of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing carriages and
strollers to 16 CFR part 1227. The NORs are listed in the Commission's
rule, ``Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment
Bodies.'' 16 CFR part 1112.
    One of the revisions discussed above adds a test for protective
coverings on accessible foam trays/grab bars. The test involves
clamping the protective covering with a \3/4\-inch diameter clamp,
applying 15 lbf, and visually inspecting whether foam has been exposed.
If the protective covering is removable, test labs will need to verify
that the warning is present and meets the requirements in the standard.
Test laboratories that test children's products likely already own the
\3/4\-inch diameter clamp because it is used for testing in other
standards, including ASTM F963 (Consumer Safety Specification for Toy
Safety). The testing and visual inspection of tray/grab bar covers
would not significantly change how testing is conducted for carriages
and strollers.
    In addition, a visual inspection is required to assess whether a
stroller supports the test weight for static load tests. However, this
is one of several conditions assessed by the static load test methods
to ensure that no unacceptable conditions are identified. There is no
change to the equipment or performance of the static load testing.
Accordingly, this addition would not significantly change how these
tests are conducted for carriages and strollers.
    The other revisions to the voluntary standard merely clarify the
existing standard and will not change existing test methods. Based on
CPSC staff's review, the Commission concludes that revising the
reference to ASTM F833-19 for the carriages and stroller standard will
not necessitate any significant change in the way that third party
conformity assessment bodies test these products for compliance to CPSC
standards. Therefore, the Commission considers the existing
accreditations that the Commission has accepted for testing to this
standard also to cover testing to the revised standard. The
[[Page 37766]]
existing NOR for this standards will remain in place, and CPSC-accepted
third party conformity assessment bodies are expected to update the
scope of the testing laboratories' accreditation to reflect the revised
standard in the normal course of renewing their accreditation.
G. Direct Final Rule Process
    The Commission is issuing this rule as a direct final rule.
Although the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) generally requires
notice and comment rulemaking, section 553 of the APA provides an
exception when the agency, for good cause, finds that notice and public
procedure are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public
interest.'' 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The Commission concludes that when the
Commission updates a reference to an ASTM standard that the Commission
has incorporated by reference under section 104(b) of the CPSIA, notice
and comment is not necessary.
    Under the process set out in section 104(b)(4)(B) of the CPSIA,
when ASTM revises a standard that the Commission has previously
incorporated by reference as a Commission standard for a durable infant
or toddler product under section 104(b)(1)(b) of the CPSIA, that
revision will become the new CPSC standard, unless the Commission
determines that ASTM's revision does not improve the safety of the
product. Thus, unless the Commission makes such a determination, the
ASTM revision becomes CPSC's standard by operation of law. The
Commission is allowing ASTM F833-19 to become CPSC's new standard. The
purpose of this direct final rule is merely to update the reference in
the Code of Federal Regulations so that it accurately reflects the
version of the standard that takes effect by statute. Public comment
will not impact the substantive changes to the standard or the effect
of the revised standard as a consumer product safety standard under
section 104(b) of the CPSIA. Under these circumstances, notice and
comment is not necessary. In Recommendation 95-4, the Administrative
Conference of the United States (ACUS) endorsed direct final rulemaking
as an appropriate procedure to expedite promulgation of rules that are
noncontroversial and that are not expected to generate significant
adverse comment. See 60 FR 43108 (August 18, 1995). ACUS recommended
that agencies use the direct final rule process when they act under the
``unnecessary'' prong of the good cause exemption in 5 U.S.C.
553(b)(B). Consistent with the ACUS recommendation, the Commission is
publishing this rule as a direct final rule because we do not expect
any significant adverse comments.
    Unless we receive a significant adverse comment within 30 days, the
rule will become effective on November 5, 2019. In accordance with
ACUS's recommendation, the Commission considers a significant adverse
comment to be one where the commenter explains why the rule would be
inappropriate, including an assertion challenging the rule's underlying
premise or approach, or a claim that the rule would be ineffective or
unacceptable without change.
    Should the Commission receive a significant adverse comment, the
Commission would withdraw this direct final rule. Depending on the
comments and other circumstances, the Commission may then incorporate
the adverse comment into a subsequent direct final rule or publish a
notice of proposed rulemaking, providing an opportunity for public
comment.
H. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires that
agencies review proposed and final rules for their potential economic
impact on small entities, including small businesses, and prepare
regulatory flexibility analyses. 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. The RFA applies
to any rule that is subject to notice and comment procedures under
section 553 of the APA. Id. As explained above, the Commission has
determined that notice and comment is not necessary for this direct
final rule. Thus, the RFA does not apply. We also note the limited
nature of this document, which updates the incorporation by reference
to reflect the mandatory CPSC standard that takes effect under section
104 of the CPSIA.
I. Paperwork Reduction Act
    The standard for carriages and strollers contains information
collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44
U.S.C. 3501-3520). The revisions made no changes to that section of the
standard. Thus, the revisions will not have any effect on the
information collection requirements related to the standard.
J. Environmental Considerations
    The Commission's regulations provide a categorical exclusion for
the Commission's rules from any requirement to prepare an environmental
assessment or an environmental impact statement because they ``have
little or no potential for affecting the human environment.'' 16 CFR
1021.5(c)(2). This rule falls within the categorical exclusion, so no
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required.
K. Preemption
    Section 26(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2075(a), provides that where a
consumer product safety standard is in effect and applies to a product,
no state or political subdivision of a state may either establish or
continue in effect a requirement dealing with the same risk of injury
unless the state requirement is identical to the federal standard.
Section 26(c) of the CPSA also provides that states or political
subdivisions of states may apply to the CPSC for an exemption from this
preemption under certain circumstances. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA
refers to the rules to be issued under that section as ``consumer
product safety rules,'' thus, implying that the preemptive effect of
section 26(a) of the CPSA would apply. Therefore, a rule issued under
section 104 of the CPSIA will invoke the preemptive effect of section
26(a) of the CPSA when it becomes effective.
L. Effective Date
    Under the procedure set forth in section 104(b)(4)(B) of the CPSIA,
when a voluntary standard organization revises a standard upon which a
consumer product safety standard was based, the revision becomes the
CPSC standard within 180 days of notification to the Commission, unless
the Commission determines that the revision does not improve the safety
of the product, or the Commission sets a later date in the Federal
Register. The Commission has not set a different effective date. Thus,
in accordance with this provision, this rule takes effect 180 days
after we received notification from ASTM of revision to this standard.
As discussed in the preceding section, this is a direct final rule.
Unless we receive a significant adverse comment within 30 days, the
rule will become effective on November 5, 2019.
List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1227
    Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants
and children, Law enforcement, Safety, Toys.
    For the reasons stated above, the Commission amends title 16 CFR
chapter II as follows:
PART 1227--SAFETY STANDARD FOR CARRIAGES AND STROLLERS
0
1. The authority citation for part 1227 continues to read as follows:
    Authority: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,
Pub. L. 110-314,
[[Page 37767]]
Sec. 104, 122 Stat. 3016 (August 14, 2008); Pub. L. 112-28, 125
Stat. 273 (August 12, 2011).
0
2. Revise Sec.  1227.2 to read as follows:
Sec.  1227.2   Requirements for carriages and strollers.
    Each carriage and stroller shall comply with all applicable
provisions of ASTM F833-19, Standard Consumer Safety Performance
Specification for Carriages and Strollers, approved March 15, 2019. The
Director of the Federal Register approves the incorporation by
reference listed in this section in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and
1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy of this ASTM standard from ASTM
International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken,
PA 19428-2959 USA; phone: 610-832-9585; www.astm.org. You may inspect a
copy at the Division of the Secretariat, U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814,
telephone 301-504-7923, or at the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this
material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
Alberta E. Mills,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2019-16524 Filed 8-1-19; 8:45 am]
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