New Regulatory Robot Tool Released: Enhanced Safety Guidance to Small Consumer Product Businesses on Compliance

Regulatory RobotWe are excited to introduce the Regulatory Robot, an important new tool and a step forward in the way that the CPSC works with small businesses.  The Robot helps companies determine which consumer product safety rules might apply to their product.  The Robot asks small businesses making new products a series of guided interview questions, and, based on the answers, produces a downloadable report.  The report is customized with links to product safety regulations that may apply to the product.  The report also provides important information on labeling, certification, and testing requirements.

The Robot, working in concert with the agency’s other efforts to educate small businesses, will increase the overall level of consumer product safety in the United States.

With the strong support of Chairman Elliot F. Kaye and the Commission, Small Business Ombudsman Neal S. Cohen, and other agency staff developed this new tool for small businesses wishing to compete and bring safe consumer products to market.

“The CPSC is committed to using all available resources to protect consumers from unsafe and non-compliant products, and this new and innovative online tool is reflective of our commitment,” said Chairman Kaye.  “The Regulatory Robot is built for everyday small businessmen and women who need an easy and practical tool to help them stay in compliance with federal safety rules.  It is far better to know and follow our rules before a product is made or imported, instead of us catching an unsafe product after the fact. ”

Why is this new tool noteworthy?

While information about CPSC rules and regulations has been available for years in a piecemeal fashion, this interactive tool is the first time it has been placed in proper context into one place on a government website.

The CPSC needs the cooperation and collaboration of small businesses to make sure that all consumer goods in the hands of American consumers are safe and compliant.

Why did the CPSC develop the Regulatory Robot?

Many small businesses seek assistance from our agency, through the Small Business Ombudsman and the Office of Compliance and Field Operations, and express a strong willingness to comply with our safety requirements – but they often cannot simply figure out how to do it.  Prior to the Robot, we handled questions from small businesses through individualized phone calls to staff, an approach that challenged our limited resources.  Small businesses will now have direct access to these requirements – and the Small Business Ombudsman and Office of Compliance and Field Operations will continue to be available for additional questions.

We believe that the Robot will lead to safer, compliant products, fewer deaths and injuries to American consumers, and help us further meet our mission.  We believe that the Robot offers an excellent ‘safety’ return on our investment, and we hope to see it evolve and grow further during the years with constructive user feedback.

Go ahead and take the Regulatory Robot for a test drive.  And please don’t forget to send us your feedback so we can make it even better.

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