US retailer Ross Stores has agreed to pay a US$3.9m fine after it knowingly failed to report that it failed to report that it was selling children's garments containing drawstrings - a strangulation risk.

The settlement follows a US$500,000 civil penalty in 2009, when it failed to report four series of children's upper outerwear drawstring garments distributed between 2006 and 2008.

This penalty covers sales of such garments between January 2009 and February 2012.

Ross Stores has also agreed to implement and maintain a compliance programme designed to ensure compliance with Consumer Product Safety Act reporting requirements.

It will also enhance its existing policies by ensuring that its ongoing programme contains written standards and policies, a mechanism for confidential employee reporting of compliance related questions or concerns, and appropriate communication of company compliance policies to all employees through training programs. 

It has also designed and implemented a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure its reporting to the Consumer Product Safety Commission is timely, truthful, complete, accurate and in accordance with applicable law.