[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 122 (Monday, June 25, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37834-37836]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15409]


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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

[Docket No. CPSC-2012-0035]

16 CFR Part 1500


Revocation of Certain Requirements Pertaining to Caps Intended 
for Use With Toy Guns and Toy Guns Not Intended for Use With Caps

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: Section 106 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 
2008 (``CPSIA'') considers the provisions of ASTM International

[[Page 37835]]

Standard F 963, ``Standard Consumer Safety Specifications for Toy 
Safety'' (``ASTM F 963''), to be consumer product safety standards 
issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (``CPSC,'' 
``Commission,'' or ``we''). Among other things, ASTM F 963 contains 
provisions regarding sound-producing toys. The ASTM F 963 provisions 
for sound-producing toys allow manufacturers to use more options with 
readily available test equipment for sound measurement to determine 
compliance than our existing regulations pertaining to caps intended 
for use with toy guns and toy guns not intended for use with caps, 
which were included in the regulations under the Federal Hazardous 
Substances Act (``FHSA'') that were transferred to the Commission's 
jurisdiction in 1973. The test methodology also refers to obsolete 
equipment. Consequently, we are proposing to revoke our existing 
banning regulations pertaining to caps intended for use with toy guns 
and toy guns not intended for use with caps because they are obsolete 
and have been superseded by the requirements of ASTM F 963.

DATES: Comments must be received by August 24, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2012-0035, may be 
submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    To ensure timely processing of comments, the Commission is no 
longer accepting comments submitted by electronic mail (email) except 
through http://www.regulations.gov.

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: Office of the Secretary, 
U.S. 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 any personal identifiers, 
contact information, or other personal information provided, to http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, 
trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information 
electronically. Such information should be submitted in writing.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard McCallion, Office of Hazard 
Identification and Reduction, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 
Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone: (301) 987-2222; email: 
rmccallion@cpsc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Revocation of Certain Regulations Pertaining to Toy Caps and Toy 
Guns Not Intended for Use With Caps

    In September 1973, the FHSA and its implementing regulations, which 
included provisions pertaining to caps for use with toy guns and toy 
guns not intended for use with caps, were transferred from the U.S. 
Food and Drug Administration (``FDA'') to the CPSC. See 38 FR 27012 
(September 27, 1973). One of the transferred regulations includes a ban 
on caps intended for use with toy guns and toy guns not intended for 
use with caps ``if such caps when so used or such toy guns produce 
impulse-type sound at a peak pressure level at or above 138 decibels. * 
* *'' See 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5).
    Another transferred regulation, 16 CFR 1500.86(a)(6), contains 
provisions for exemptions from the classification of a banned toy under 
16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5) for toy caps with a sound level from 138 decibels 
up to a maximum decibel level of 158. Manufacturers participating in 
this decibel-reduction program are required to report their intention 
to participate in the program, include a specific warning statement on 
the product packaging, and report quarterly on the progress regarding 
the production of caps with a maximum noise level of 138 decibels. This 
exemption is included in the revocation because there are no 
manufacturers participating in this program. Additionally, a third 
transferred regulation, 16 CFR 1500.47, provides the test method for 
determining the sound pressure level produced by toy caps and toy guns. 
The method specifies the use of certain equipment, such as a 
microphone, preamplifier, and two types of oscilloscopes with specific 
response and calibration ranges, and it also addresses the manner in 
which one would measure peak sound pressure levels.
    Section 106 of the CPSIA considers the provisions of ASTM 
International Standard F 963, ``Standard Consumer Safety Specification 
for Toy Safety,'' to be consumer product safety standards issued by the 
Commission under section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act 
(``CPSA''). References to ASTM F 963 in this document refer to ASTM F 
963-11, which became effective on June 12, 2012. Section 4.5 of ASTM F 
963 establishes requirements for ``sound-producing toys,'' and section 
8.19 of ASTM F 963 establishes ``Tests for Toys Which Produce Noise.'' 
In general, the ASTM F 963 requirements for sound-producing toys are at 
least equivalent to, and more reflective of potential damage to human 
hearing, than 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5) and 1500.47. For example, section 
4.5.1.5 of ASTM F 963 states that the peak sound pressure level of 
impulsive sounds produced by a toy using percussion caps or other 
explosive action ``shall not exceed 125'' decibels at 50 centimeters, 
whereas, 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5) imposes a ban at or above 138 decibels at 
25 centimeters. As another example, section 8.19.2.4 of ASTM F 963 uses 
a weighted scale based on human hearing damage from the type of impulse 
noise being generated by the toy, whereas, 16 CFR 1500.47 uses an 
unweighted scale for measuring pressure level generated by impulse-type 
sound.
    Additionally, the ASTM F 963 test method involves the use of modern 
equipment (microphones meeting a particular specification), whereas, 16 
CFR 1500.47 specifies the use of a microphone, a preamplifier (if 
required), and an oscilloscope. The equipment specifications in 16 CFR 
1500.47 have never been updated.
    Consequently, because section 106 of the CPSIA mandates the 
provisions of ASTM F 963 to be consumer product safety standards, and 
because we believe that the provisions of ASTM F 963, with respect to 
paper or plastic caps intended for use with toy guns, are at least 
equivalent to 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5), we propose to revoke 16 CFR 
1500.18(a)(5). Similarly, because ASTM F 963 establishes a test method 
for toys that produce sound, and because our existing regulation refers 
to obsolete or unnecessary test equipment, we propose to revoke 16 CFR 
1500.47. Finally, because we are proposing the revocation of 16 CFR 
1500.18(a)(5), we are also proposing the revocation of the exemptions 
from the requirements of 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(5) contained in 16 CFR 
1500.86(a)(6).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule would not impose any information collection requirements. 
Accordingly, this rule is not subject to

[[Page 37836]]

the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We have examined the impacts of the proposed rule under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). The Regulatory 
Flexibility Act requires agencies to analyze regulatory options that 
would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. 
Because the proposed rule would revoke outdated regulatory 
requirements, the Commission certifies that the proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

D. Environmental Considerations

    This rule falls within the scope of the Commission's environmental 
review regulation at 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1), which provides a categorical 
exclusion from any requirement for the agency to prepare an 
environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement for rules 
that revoke product safety standards.

E. Executive Order 12988

    According to Executive Order 12988 (February 5, 1996), agencies 
must state in clear language the preemptive effect, if any, of new 
regulations. The preemptive effect of regulations such as this proposal 
is stated in section 18 of the FHSA. 15 U.S.C. 1261n.

F. Effective Date

    The Commission is proposing that the rule revoking 16 CFR 
1500.18(a)(5), 1500.47, and 1500.86(a)(6) would become effective 30 
days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1500

    Consumer protection, Hazardous substances, Imports, Infants and 
children, Labeling, Law enforcement, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Toys.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, and under the authority of 
15 U.S.C. 1261-1262 and 5 U.S.C. 553, the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission proposes to amend 16 CFR part 1500 as follows:

PART 1500--HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND ARTICLES; ADMINISTRATION AND 
ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS

    1. The authority citation for 16 CFR part 1500 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1261-1278.


Sec.  1500.18  [Amended]

    2. Section 1500.18 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph 
(a)(5).


Sec.  1500.47  [Removed]

    3. Section 1500.47 is removed entirely.


Sec.  1500.86  [Amended]

    4. Section 1500.86 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph 
(a)(6).

    Dated: June 20, 2012.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2012-15409 Filed 6-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P