WASHINGTON – The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an updated guidance clarifying new standards regarding upholstered furniture flammability.
While the new flammability rule, or SOFFA Act, goes into effect June 25, the requirements “do not apply to items manufactured, imported or reupholstered before June 25,” the guidance reads. It restated that enforcement of labeling requirements begins June 25, 2022, and applies to “upholstered furniture manufactured, imported or reupholstered on or after that date.”
That gives vendors more time to label goods that that may have been delayed by pandemic-related supply chain constrictions. It does not replace the California labeling requirements (see example here under “What are the labeling requirements”).
Labeling requirements also were defined in the guidance: “Under 16 CFR part 1640, upholstered furniture subject to the standard must have a permanent label with the language: ‘Complies with U.S. CPSC requirements for upholstered furniture flammability.’ CPSC staff recommends that the certification statement be conspicuous and legible. The statement should be at least 1/8-inch high and not smaller than other text on the label; it should be in black text on a white background and surrounded with black border. The label may be a separate label, or it can be added to the bottom of an existing California TB 117-2013 label required by SB-1019. The required statement must appear on the front of the label in English and cannot be on the back side. However, additional languages may be on the back side of the label.”
Upholstered furniture is defined in the guidance as follows. It is intended for indoor use; is movable or stationary; is constructed with an upholstered seat, back, or arm; is either made or sold with a cushion or pillow, without regard to whether that cushion or pillow, as applicable, is attached or detached with respect to the article of furniture, or stuffed or filled, or able to be stuffed or filled, in whole or in part, with any material, including a substance or material that is hidden or concealed by fabric or another covering, including a cushion or pillow belonging to, or forming a part of, the article of furniture; and together with the structural units of the article of furniture, any filling material, and the container and covering with respect to those structural units and that filling material, can be used as a support for the body of an individual, or the limbs and feet of an individual, when the individual sits in an upright or reclining position.
The guidance also exempts products “including cushions and pads used exclusively for outdoor use, certain durable infant and toddler products, and products obtained by a written prescription from a healthcare professional.”