The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is proposing to update the rules on how it discloses information identifying a manufacturer or private labeller.

It wants to modernise section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) "to account for the significant improvements in information technology that have occurred since the regulation's adoption" in 1983. It also hopes the move will streamline its obligations.

Among other changes highlighted in a note from the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) are to:

  • Increase the categories of information that are exempted from 6(b) to include information that is already publicly available on the internet or from other sources and information that the agency has previously disclosed in substantially similar form;
  • Decrease the amount of information subject to 6(b) by changing the scope from information "obtained, generated, or received" by the agency to now only cover information "obtained" by the agency;
  • Remove a provision that states the agency will provide advance notice and opportunity to comment to companies if there is a question whether the public could readily ascertain the identity of a manufacturer or private labeler;
  • Remove the ability for companies to designate that they be re-notified each time the agency releases information that has already gone through the 6(b) process;
  • Remove the ability for companies to designate that their comments or objections in response to a 6(b) notice be withheld from public disclosure;
  • Remove the ability for companies to protect information from disclosure by designating them "work product" or "attorney client" privileged; and
  • Change the standard notification method to companies from written notice through the mail to electronic notice.

Written comments are being sought by 28 April. Click here to see the full list of proposed changes.