December 2020 Regulatory Update


New York State Bans Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) Substances in Food Packaging

On December 2, 2020, Bill S8817 was signed into law by the Governor of New York State.

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The new law amends the Environmental Conservation Law section 37. The changes are summarized below:

  1. Amending section 37-0203 – two new subdivisions (5 and 6) were added.
    1. Subdivision 5 – “food packaging” means a package or packaging component that is intended for direct food contact and is comprised, in substantial part, of paper, paper board, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers
    2. Subdivision 6 - “Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS substances” shall mean, for the purpose of food packaging, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom
  2. New section 37-0209 was added to prohibit PFAS substances in food packaging.
    1. Section 37-0209 – Prohibition on the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging
      1. No person shall distribute, sell or offer for sale in this state food packaging containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances as intentionally added chemicals
      2. “Intentionally added chemical” means a chemical in a product that serves an intended function in the product component

PFAS substances, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perflourooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), are a group of chemicals for making fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water.

Bill S8817 signed on December 2, 2020, will prohibit the use of PFAS substances in food packaging in New York State, and be effective as of December 31, 2022.

For More Information About This Story:
Contact: Andy Choi (Senior Manager)
Phone: (852) 3185 8045

US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a COVID-19 Related Products Business Guidance

The CPSC issued a business guidance for four main categories of products which are commonly being used during the COVID-19 pandemic including face coverings, gowns, gloves and disinfectant and cleaning products.

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In the guidance, the mandatory requirements and the jurisdiction for those product categories are highlighted. For example,

  • Face Coverings
    • Consumer face coverings shall be subject to flammability requirements regulated by the CPSC,
    • Medical use face masks such as surgical masks are under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
    • Respirators such as N95 are considered to be personal protective equipment and are regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), under the Centers for Disease Control (CDC);
    • Face shields intended for use in the diagnosis of disease are considered to be medical devices and are under the jurisdiction of the FDA while face shields for non-medical use (e.g. sun-protection) are required to comply with the CPSC requirements
  • Gowns and Gloves
    • Gowns and gloves for non-medical use are considered to be wearing apparel, under the jurisdiction of the CPSC, and shall be subject to the flammability requirements;
    • Gowns and gloves for medical use (intended for use in health care settings) are under the jurisdiction of the FDA.
  • Disinfectant and Cleaning Products
    • These products are regulated by different federal agencies including the CPSC, FDA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), depending on the product’s ingredients and intended use;
    • Some products might need to meet registration requirements and may need child resistant packaging

If the product is intended to be used by children ages 12 and under, compliance with the labelling, testing, and certification requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) shall also be required (e.g., tracking labels, total lead, Children’s Product Certificate, etc.).

For More Information About This Story:
Contact: Andy Choi (Senior Manager)
Phone: (852) 3185 8045


The European Union (EU) has revised the list of European Standards for Products Drafted in Support of the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)

On December 1, 2020, the European Union (EU) issued Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/1808 amending Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1698 for certain child care articles, children’s furniture, stationary training equipment, and the ignition propensity of cigarettes in regards to the list of standards that give a presumption of conformity to the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) (Directive 2001/95/EC). The new decision became effective on December 1, 2020.

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An implementing Decision is a legally binding act of the EC which is directly applicable to all member states of the EU.

Implementing decisions do not need to be transposed into national legislation. This ensures implementation is consistent in each individual member state.

Implementing decisions take precedent over national legislation in case there is any conflict between the two directives.

Changes in the new Implementing Decision are summarized below:

Row Entry to Annex I Decision (EU) 2020/1808 amending Decision (EU) 2019/1698 Decision (EU) 2019/1698
37 EN ISO 1286:2010 - Ignition propensity of cigarettes (ISO 12863:2010)
EN ISO 12863:2010/AC:2011
EN ISO 12863:2010/A1:2016
EN ISO 1286:2010 - Ignition propensity of cigarettes (ISO 12863:2010)
EN ISO 12863:2010/AC:2011
52a EN 16890:2017 - Children’s furniture – Mattresses for cots and cribs NA
52b EN 17022:2018 - Childcare articles – Bathing aids NA
52c EN 17072:2018 – Childcare articles – Bathtubs, stands and non-standalone bathing aids NA
57 EN ISO 20957-9:2016 – Stationary training equipment – Elliptical trainers (ISO 20957-9:2016)
EN ISO 20957-9:2016/A1:2019
EN ISO 20957-9:2016 – Stationary training equipment – Elliptical trainers (ISO 20957-9:2016)
For More Information About This Story:
Contact: Vivian Chan (Technical Consultant)
Phone: (852) 3185 8052

Europe Recalls Summary (July 2020 – November 2020)

In Europe, when hazards are identified in consumer products, the products will be recalled and published in the Safety Gate, which is updated weekly. The European recalls for July 2020 through November 2020 are summarized below:

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Hazards Frequency
Chemical Hazard 135
Choking Hazard 96
Health Risk Hazard 100
Electric shock Hazard 81
Fire Hazard 42
Injury Hazard 105
Other Hazards* 143

*Other Hazards include Cut Hazard, Damage to Eyesight Hazard, Damage to Hearing Hazard, Microbial Hazard, Strangulation Hazard and Suffocation Hazard with a frequency of less than 38.

Product Categories Frequency
Toys and Childcare Articles 195
Electrical Appliances and Equipment 76
Personal Protective Equipment 77
Consumer Chemicals 20
Clothing, Textiles and Fashion Items 50
Lighting Chains 23
Other Categories^ 68

^Other Categories include Cosmetics, Computer / Audio / Video / Other Electronics & Accessories , Decorative Articles, Eyewear, Food Contact Material, Footwear, Furniture, Gadgets, Jewelry, Watch or other Fashion Accessories, Pet Equipment, Lighting Equipment Sporting Goods/ Equipment, with a frequency of less than 19.

For a complete list click here


Hong Kong Proposes to Update its Safety Standards for Toys and Children’s Products

The Hong Kong Government launched a public consultation on the proposed update to Schedule 1 and 2 to the Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance (Cap.424). These Schedules implement up-to-date safety standards promulgated by the relevant standards institutions for toys and children’s products listed in Schedule 2 of the Ordinance (Schedule 2 products).

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The Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance stipulates that a person must not manufacture, import or supply a toy or a Schedule 2 product unless it complies with all the applicable requirements contained in any one of the safety standards respectively specified in Schedules 1 and 2 to the Ordinance. The standards specified are international standards or standards adopted by major economies.

Proposed updates to Standards Specified for Toys and Schedule 2 Products 2021 are summarized below:

Categories Current Specified Standards Updated Standards (Publication / Effective Date)
Schedule 1 Toy Standards
International Standard ISO 8124-3:2010 (incorporating Amendment 2:2018) ISO 8124-3:2020 (March 2020)
European Standard BS EN 71-7:2014+A2:2018 BS EN 71-7:2014+A3:2020 (April 2020)
Schedule 2 Product Standards
Bunk beds for domestic use ASTM F1427-13 ASTM F1427-19 (December 2019)
Children’s high chairs and multi-purpose high chairs for domestic use BS EN 14988:2019 BS EN 14988+A1:2020 (April 2020)
Children’s paints ISO 8124-3:2010 (incorporating Amendment 2:2018) ISO 8124-3:2020 (March 2020)
For More Information About This Story:
Contact: Vivian Chan (Technical Consultant)
Phone: (852) 3185 8052

The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) Published GB/T 4146.1-2020, Superseding GB/T 4146.1-2009

The Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China recently released announcement No.22 of 2020, which included an update that GB/T 4146-2020 “Textiles—Man-made fibers—Part 1: Generic names” has replaced the 2009 version. It will be effective on May 1, 2021.

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GB/T 4146.1 lists out names of the various chemical fibers based on the main polymers for industrial production, textile and other uses, and gives their main characteristics. The new version includes many updates to the old version, with the key technical differences as follows:

  1. Added terms and definitions of “man-made fiber/ chemical fiber”. Man-made fiber/ chemical fiber: Fibers which are made by man, except natural fibers.
  2. Added generic name, symbol, main characteristic and chemical formula to 12 kinds of chemical fibres, including:
    Modacrylic, chitosan, melamine, protein, trivinyl, polybenzimidazol, elastomultiester, polyamidoester, silicon carbide, polyhydroxy, polycarbamide and polyarylate.
  3. Divided Polyvinyl alcohol fibres into acetal and non-acetal types, specified vinylon is short for polyvinyl alcohol fibre.
  4. Added the name of bicomponent composite fibre, such as:
    Polyester/polyester bicomponent
    Polyethylene/polypropylene bicomponent
    Polypropylene/polyamide bicomponent
    Polyester/polyamide bicomponent
    Polyethylene/polyester bicomponent
  5. Added 4 informative annexes, including:
    • Annex A: Suggested rules for establishing generic names
    • Annex B: Composite fibre
    • Annex C: Modified fibre
    • Annex F: Requirements for generic names in related region and state
For More Information About This Story:
Contact: David Zhao (Technical Consultant)
Phone: (571) 8999 7142


Andy Choi

Vivian Chan

David Zhao

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