This file provides information on the confidential treatment of
information submitted to the CPSC in response to a Letter of Advice
(LOA) or a report filed with the Commission under sections 15 and 37 of
the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION UNDER SECTION 6 OF THE CPSA
Section 6(a) of the CPSA, as amended by the Consumer Product Safety
Amendments of 1981, provides protection for trade secrets or
confidential information. Section 6(a) gives manufacturers an
opportunity to mark information as confidential.
If you believe any of the information you submit to the Commission is
a trade secret, or privileged or confidential information, you must
accompany the submission with a request that the information be
considered exempt from disclosure or indicate that a request will be
submitted within 10 working days of the submission. The failure to make
a request within that time will be considered an acknowledgment that you
do not wish to claim exempt status. In accordance with the Commission's
regulations at 16 C.F.R. section 1015.18(c), the following information
must be included with the request for exemption:
(1) Specifically identify the exact portion(s) of the document
claimed to be confidential;
(2) State whether the information claimed to be confidential has
ever been released in any manner to a person who was not an employee or
in a confidential relationship with the company;
(3) State whether the information so specified is commonly known
within the industry or is readily ascertainable by outside persons with
a minimum of time and effort;
(4) State how release of the information so specified would be
likely to cause substantial harm to the company's competitive position;
(5) State whether the submitter is authorized to make claims of
confidentiality on behalf of the person or organization concerned.
If the Commission determines that information marked as confidential
may be disclosed because it is not confidential, the Commission must
provide written notice that it intends to disclose this information.
This notice must be provided not less than 10 working days prior to
disclosure. Any person receiving such notice may bring an action in an
appropriate district court to prevent disclosure of the information.
In addition to the above, section 6(b) of the CPSA also provides
limitations on the Commission's disclosure of any information
identifying manufacturers or private labelers, and further limits the
Commission's disclosure of information received under section 15(b) of
CONFIDENTIALITY OF REPORTS UNDER SECTION 15(b) OF THE CPSA
The Commission often receives requests for information provided by
firms under section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
Section 6(b)(5) of the CPSA, prohibits the release of such information
unless a remedial action has been accepted in writing, a complaint has
been issued or a firm consents to the release. Firms submitting
information considered to be trade secret, confidential, commercial, or
financial, must mark it "confidential" in accordance with section
6(a)(3) of the CPSA. If a firm does not request confidential treatment
at the time of its submission of information, or within ten days
thereafter, the CPSC staff will assume that the firm does not consider
the material in its submission to be a trade secret or otherwise exempt
from disclosure under section 6(a) of the CPSA and the Freedom of
Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 522(b)(4).
CONFIDENTIALITY OF REPORTS UNDER SECTION 37 OF THE CPSA.
Section 6(e) of the CPSA protects from disclosure certain information
submitted to the Commission by a manufacturer pursuant to section 37 of
the CPSA. See Chapter 5, page 10 of this Handbook for information on
the Section 37 reporting requirement.
Section 6(e)(1) provides that information furnished under sections
37(c)(1) and (c)(2)(A) may not be publicly disclosed. Section 6(e)(2)
provides that any report submitted pursuant to section 37(c)(1) or
(c)(2)(a) shall be immune from legal process and shall not be subject to
subpoena or other discovery in any civil action in a State or Federal
court or in any administrative proceeding, except in an action against
such manufacturer under section 20, 21, or 22 of the CPSA for failure
to furnish information required by section 37.
USE OF INFORMATION BY THE COMMISSION
As part of any recall or other corrective action plan undertaken by
your firm, pertinent information relating to the corrective action plan
will be included in a periodic public listing. This listing will
include the date the corrective action plan is initiated, the name of
the firm involved, the name of the product(s) involved, the geographic
area of distribution of the product(s), the hazard identified by the
Commission staff, the labeling of the product(s) and the type of
corrective action being taken.
excerpted from the REGULATED PRODUCTS HANDBOOK
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Compliance
February 1994 - 2nd Edition*
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