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In the last few years, the compliance staff of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has sought a number of significant civil penalties for failure to report or for late reporting. It is instructive to look at recent civil penalty cases to see what is important to the CPSC staff in assessing the appropriateness and level of penalties. First, however, let’s examine the reporting requirements.

Reporting Requirements

The Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”), �15(b) (also referred to as �2064(b)) independently requires manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers to notify the Commission immediately if they obtain information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product distributed in commerce: 1) fails to meet a consumer product safety standard or banning regulation, 2) contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard to consumers, 3) creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or 4) fails to comply with a voluntary standard upon which the Commission has relied under the CPSA.

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