[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 93 (Monday, May 17, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26654-26658]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10293]


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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

16 CFR Parts 1112, 1130, and 1232

[Docket No. CPSC-2015-0029]


Safety Standard for Children's Folding Chairs and Stools

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: In December 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 
(CPSC) issued a consumer product safety standard for children's folding 
chairs and stools. The standard incorporated by reference the 
applicable ASTM voluntary standard. The Consumer Product Safety 
Improvement Act (CPSIA) sets forth a process for updating mandatory 
standards for durable infant or toddler products that are based on a 
voluntary standard, when a voluntary standards organization revises the 
standard. Since 2017, ASTM has revised the voluntary standard for 
children's folding chairs and stools twice. Consistent with the CPSIA 
update process, this direct final rule updates the mandatory standard 
for children's folding chairs and stools to incorporate by reference 
ASTM's 2021 version of the voluntary standard.

DATES: The rule is effective on August 21, 2021, unless we receive 
significant adverse comment by June 16, 2021. 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 August 21, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2015-
0029, 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 https://www.regulations.gov and as described below. The CPSC encourages you to 
submit electronic comments by using

[[Page 26655]]

the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.
    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier Submissions: Submit comments by mail/
hand delivery/courier to: Division of the Secretariat, Consumer Product 
Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 
20814; telephone (301) 504-7479. Alternatively, as a temporary option 
during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can email such submissions to: [email protected].
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. CPSC may post all comments without 
change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or 
other personal information provided, to: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Do not submit electronically confidential business information, trade 
secret information, or other sensitive or protected information that 
you do not want to be available to the public. If you wish to submit 
such information please submit it according to the instructions for 
written submissions.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to: https://www.regulations.gov, and insert the 
docket number, CPSC- 2015-0029, 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 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 these standards 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 (CPSA) (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. ASTM Standard for Children's Chairs and Stools

    On December 15, 2017, the Commission published a final rule issuing 
a mandatory standard for children's folding chairs and stools that 
incorporated by reference the voluntary standard in effect at that 
time, ASTM F2613-17a, Standard Consumer Specification for Children's 
Chairs and Stools. 82 FR 59505. The ASTM standard for children's 
folding chairs and stools, ASTM F2613, Standard Consumer Safety 
Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools, applies to children's 
folding chairs and stools with a seat height of 15 inches or less, and 
equipped with or without a rocking base. These chairs are intended to 
be used by a single child who can get in and out of the product 
unassisted. The standard was codified in the Commission's regulations 
at 16 CFR part 1232. Since publication of ASTM F2613-17a, the original 
mandatory standard, ASTM has published two revisions to ASTM F2613. 
ASTM F2613-19 was approved and published in November 2019. On April 1, 
2020, the Commission issued a direct final rule updating the 
incorporation by reference to ASTM F2613-19 as the mandatory standard. 
85 FR 18111. In February 2021, ASTM approved and published ASTM F2613-
21. ASTM officially notified the Commission of this revision on 
February 22, 2021. The rule is incorporating by reference ASTM F2613-21 
as the mandatory standard.

B. Revisions to the ASTM Standard

    Under section 104(b)(4)(B) of the CPSIA, unless the Commission 
determines that ASTM's revision of a voluntary standard that is a CPSC 
mandatory standard ``does not improve the safety of the consumer 
product covered by the standard,'' the revised voluntary standard 
becomes the new mandatory standard. As discussed below, the Commission 
determines that the changes made in ASTM F2613-21 are neutral or 
improve the safety of children's folding chairs and stools. Therefore, 
the Commission will allow the revised voluntary standard ASTM F2613-21 
to become effective as a mandatory consumer product safety standard 
under the statute, effective August 21, 2021.

Differences Between 16 CFR Part 1232 and ASTM F2613-21

    In February 2021, ASTM revised ASTM F2613-19. The resulting 
standard, ASTM F2613-21, includes the following changes:
Substantive Change
    ASTM F2613-21 makes one substantive change to the standard by 
updating the definition of stools in the standard to include ottomans. 
The Commission finds the substantive change made in ASTM F2613-21 to be 
an improvement to safety as it clarifies the standard's scope to 
include ottomans, a product previously not clearly subject to the 
mandatory standard.
Non-Substantive Changes
    Other changes to the standard were minor or editorial in nature as 
described below.
     Clarification that infant/toddler rockers are not included 
within the scope of the standard, because infant/toddler rockers are 
subject to a different voluntary standard, ASTM F3084-20, Standard 
Consumer Safety Specification for Infant and Infant/Toddler Rockers.
     Removal of a previous version of a locking test method 
that is no longer referenced in ASTM F2613-21. The ASTM F2613-21 
standard contains the current latching and locking test method that is 
similar to a previous version of a locking test method. Although 
removal of the previous version of the test method was included on an 
ASTM ballot, when ASTM published F2613-19, the previous locking test 
method was inadvertently retained in the test method section of the 
standard. There are no performance requirements associated with the 
previous locking testing method and the test method is not currently 
being used for testing products to the standard. Therefore, ASTM F2613-
21 removed this unused test method.

[[Page 26656]]

    The Commission finds that all of the non-substantive changes in 
ASTM F2613-21 are editorial in nature, and therefore, neutral regarding 
safety, and thus do not affect the safety of children's folding chairs 
and stools.

C. Revisions to Parts 1112, 1130, and 1232

    CPSC has received an inquiry from a testing laboratory regarding 
whether 16 CFR part 1232 was intended to apply to non-folding stools, 
because the title of the Part did not specifically state it applied to 
``folding chairs and folding stools.'' Previous discussions in the 
preambles of the NPR (80 FR 63155, October 19, 2015) and the final rule 
(82 FR 59505, December 15, 2017) for the folding chairs and stools 
standard clearly indicate that folding stools fell within the scope of 
the mandatory standard. To avoid any misinterpretation regarding the 
scope of the standard, the Commission is amending the title of the rule 
to read ``Safety standard for children's folding chairs and children's 
folding stools'' and the title of the requirements in section 1232.2 to 
read ``Requirements for children's folding chairs and children's 
folding stools'' to remove any ambiguity regarding whether the standard 
to applies to children's folding stools versus non-folding stools. The 
rule also amends section 1232.1 regarding scope to state it establishes 
a standard for ``children's folding chairs and children's folding 
stools.'' For consistency, the rule makes the corresponding amendment 
to the notice of requirements listed in section 1112.15(b)(43) of 16 
CFR part 1112 to read ``16 CFR part 1232, Safety Standard for 
Children's Folding Chairs and Children's Folding Stools''. The rule 
also makes the corresponding amendment to the definition in section 
1130.2(a)(13) of 16 CFR part 1130 to read ``Children's folding chairs 
and children's folding stools.''

D. Incorporation by Reference

    Section 1232.2 of the direct final rule incorporates by reference 
ASTM F2613-21. 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 A of this 
preamble summarizes the major provisions of the ASTM F2613-21 standard 
that the Commission incorporates by reference into 16 CFR part 1232. 
The standard is reasonably available to interested parties, and 
interested parties can purchase a copy of ASTM F2613-21 from ASTM 
International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, 
PA 19428-2959 USA; phone: 610-832-9585; www.astm.org. Additionally, 
until the direct final rule takes effect, a read-only copy of ASTM 
F2613-21 is available for viewing on ASTM's website at: https://www.astm.org/CPSC.htm. Once the rule takes effect, a read-only copy of 
the standard will be available for viewing on the ASTM website at: 
https://www.astm.org/READINGLIBRARY/. Interested parties can also 
schedule an appointment to inspect a copy of the standard at CPSC's 
Division of the Secretariat, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 
Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone: 301-
504-7479; email: [email protected].

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, 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 children's folding chairs and stools 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 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)(vi) of the CPSIA, the 
Commission has previously published a notice of requirements (NOR) for 
accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing 
children's folding chairs and stools (82 FR 59505, December 15, 2017). 
The NOR provided the criteria and process for our acceptance of 
accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for testing 
children's folding chairs and stools to 16 CFR part 1232. The NORs for 
all mandatory standards for durable infant or toddler products are 
listed in the Commission's rule, ``Requirements Pertaining to Third 
Party Conformity Assessment Bodies,'' codified at 16 CFR part 1112.
    None of the changes to ASTM F2613-21 would impact a CPSC accepted 
laboratory's competence to be able to conduct testing to the revised 
standard. Therefore, the Commission considers the existing CPSC-
accepted laboratories for testing to ASTM F2613-19 to be competent to 
conduct testing to ASTM F2613-21 as well. Accordingly, the existing NOR 
for this standard will remain in place, and CPSC-accepted third party 
conformity assessment bodies are expected in the normal course of 
renewing their accreditation to update the scope of the testing 
laboratories' accreditation to reflect the revised standard.

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 are 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 F2613-21 to become CPSC's new standard. The 
purpose of

[[Page 26657]]

this direct final rule is merely to update the reference in the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) so that it reflects accurately the version of 
the standard that takes effect by statute. The rule updates the 
reference in the CFR, but under the CPSIA, ASTM F2613-21 takes effect 
as the new CPSC standard for children's folding chairs and children's 
folding stools, even if the Commission did not issue this rule. 
Additionally, the title and text of Part 1232 is revised to clarify the 
scope of the standard regarding children's folding stools, with 
corresponding revisions to the references in Parts 1112 and 1130 for 
consistency. Thus, 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 are not necessary.
    In Recommendation 95-4, the Administrative Conference of the United 
States (ACUS) endorsed direct final rulemaking as an appropriate 
procedure to expedite promulgating 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 August 21, 2021. 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. As noted, this rule merely updates a 
reference in the CFR to reflect a change that occurs by statute and 
corresponding changes to Part 1232 and two other parts for consistency 
and clarity.
    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, the Commission has determined 
that notice and comment are not necessary for this direct final rule. 
Thus, the RFA does not apply. We also note the limited nature of this 
document, which merely 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 children's folding chairs and stools contains 
information-collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The revisions to the standard made no 
changes to that section of the standard. Thus, the revisions will have 
no 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 where they ``have 
little or no potential for affecting the human environment.'' 16 CFR 
1021.5(c). 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 
deems rules issued under that provision to be ``consumer product safety 
standards.'' Therefore, once a rule issued under section 104 of the 
CPSIA takes effect, it will preempt in accordance with section 26(a) of 
the CPSA.

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 is taking neither of those actions with 
respect to the standard for children's folding chairs and stools. 
Therefore, ASTM F2613-21 will automatically take effect as the new 
mandatory standard for children's folding chairs and stools on August 
21, 2021, which is 180 days after the Commission received notice of the 
revision on February 22, 2021.

M. 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, this rule 
does not qualify as a ``major rule,'' as defined in 5 U.S.C. 804(2). 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.

List of Subjects

16 CFR Part 1112

    Consumer protection, Incorporation by reference, Third party 
conformity assessment body requirements, Audit.

16 CFR Part 1130

    Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, 
Consumer protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

16 CFR Part 1232

    Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants 
and children, Law enforcement, Safety, Toys.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Commission amends title 
16 CFR chapter II as follows:

[[Page 26658]]

PART 1112--REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY 
ASSESSMENT BODIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2063; Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 
Stat. 3016, 3017 (2008).


0
2. Amend Sec.  1112.15 by revising paragraph (b)(43) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1112.15  When can a third party conformity assessment body apply 
for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule or test method?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (43) 16 CFR part 1232, Safety Standard for Children's Folding 
Chairs and Children's Folding Stools.
* * * * *

PART 1130--REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSUMER REGISTRATION OF DURABLE INFANT 
OR TODDLER PRODUCTS

0
3. The authority citation for part 1130 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2056a, 2065(b).


0
4. Amend Sec.  1130.2 by revising paragraph (a)(13) to read as follows:


Sec.  1130.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (13) Children's folding chairs and children's folding stools;
* * * * *

0
5. Revise part 1232 to read as follows:

PART 1232--SAFETY STANDARD FOR CHILDREN'S FOLDING CHAIRS AND 
CHILDREN'S FOLDING STOOLS

Sec.
1232.1 Scope.
1232.2 Requirements for children's folding chairs and children's 
folding stools.

    Authority:  Sec. 104, Pub. L. 110-314, 122 Stat. 3016 (15 U.S.C. 
2056a); Sec 3, Pub. L. 112-28, 125 Stat. 273.


Sec.  1232.1  Scope.

    This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for 
children's folding chairs and children's folding stools.


Sec.  1232.2  Requirements for children's folding chairs and children's 
folding stools.

    Each children's folding chair and children's folding stool shall 
comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F2613-21, Standard 
Consumer Safety Specification for Children's Chairs and Stools, 
approved on February 1, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register 
approves this incorporation by reference 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. A 
read-only copy of the standard is available for viewing on the ASTM 
website at https://www.astm.org/READINGLIBRARY/. 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 301-504-7479, email: [email protected], or at the National 
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at NARA, email [email protected], or 
go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Alberta E. Mills,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2021-10293 Filed 5-14-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P