Consumer Product Safety Act
1 General Remarks
In order to ensure the safety of consumer products, the Consumer Product Safety Act establishes safety standards for certain products (“specified products”), requires products that comply with these standards to bear the PSC Mark, and prohibits the sale of products that do not bear the PSC Mark.
In addition, it stipulates certain products that require long-term maintenance (“specified maintenance products”), and it also stipulates reporting obligations in the event of a serious accident and recall obligations in the event of the discovery of a serious defect.
2 Regulations pertaining to the manufacture or import of specified products
A person who manufactures or imports a product of a specified product may not sell or display the product unless the person has submitted a notification of the business (Article 6 of the same law) and has obtained a “PSC Mark” to indicate that the product conforms to safety standard1 (Article 4, paragraph 1 of the same law).
With regard to the method of obtaining the PSC mark, in the case of specified products, the importer must personally inspect2 and pass the inspection to ensure that the imported product complies with the technical standards. In addition, in the case of special specified products, it is not sufficient for importers to conduct their own inspection, but they must also pass a conformity inspection by a registered inspection body (Article 12, paragraph 1 and Article 13).
Specially Designated Products
Infant beds, portable laser application devices, hot water circulators for bathtubs, cigarette lighter
It is necessary to pass a conformity inspection by a registered inspection body. Self-inspection is not acceptable.
Pressure cookers for household use, helmets, climbing ropes, oil water heaters, oil bath tubs, oil heaters
Although it is necessary to pass a conformity inspection, but self- inspection is also acceptable.
3 Manufacture and import of specified maintenance products
The Consumer Product Safety Act designates certain products that are used for a long period of time and are highly likely to cause serious accidents due to age-related deterioration as “specified maintenance products” and imposes various obligations on manufacturers and importers of such products, including safety inspections, to ensure the safety of such products.
Special maintenance products
Indoor gas instantaneous water heaters (for city gas/propane gas), oil water heaters, indoor gas bath tubs (for city gas/propane gas), oil bath tubs, built-in electric dishwashers, FF-type oil hot-air heaters, electric bathroom dryers
A business operator that manufactures or imports specified maintenance products shall have the following obligations.
(1) Obligation to notify the relevant business within 30 days of the start of business (Article 32-2 of the same law).
(2) Obligation to indicate the legal description of the special maintenance products to be sold (Article 32-3 of the same law).
(3) Obligation to attach to the product a document (“owner’s slip”) showing the basis for calculation of the design standard specification period and the arrangement of the inspection office (Article 32-4 of the same law).
(4) An obligation to explain, at the time of delivery of the product to the consumer, (i) that there is a risk of danger in the use of the product due to age-related deterioration, (ii) that maintenance work such as inspections must be carried out to prevent danger, and (iii) an outline of the procedures for maintenance and inspection (Article 32-5 of the same law).
(5) Obligation to inspect products in accordance with inspection standards3 (Article 32-15 of the same law).
(6) Obligation to provide advance notice of inspections (Article 32-12 of the same law).
Household Goods Regulation Law
The “Law Concerning the Regulation of Household Products Containing Harmful Substances” (Household Goods Regulation Law) implements certain regulations to prevent health hazards caused by chemical substances contained in household products.
1Refer to the technical standards in Appendix 1 of the “Ministerial Ordinance on Technical Standards, etc. for Specified Products Relating to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
2 The contents of the inspection must be recorded and preserved (Article 13 of the same law).
3 See Article 13 of the “Ministerial Ordinance on Specified Maintenance Products Relating to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry” for inspection standards.
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