On January 29, 2013, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released revisions to the next generation of its proposed consumer product regulations. The draft regulations set out the details of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, which requires product manufacturers to examine whether they can replace existing chemical ingredients with alternatives that are deemed safer for consumers and the environment. These far-reaching regulations will require businesses selling products in California to make major investments in compliance and change the way manufacturers look at their supply chain and product design planning.
The revised regulations follow the same basic framework as previous drafts (discussed in further detail in our prior Updates, which you can access here and here). They establish a four-step regulatory process in which DTSC (i) identifies candidate chemicals of concern (“Candidate Chemicals”), (ii) develops a list of priority products containing those Candidate Chemicals (“Priority Products”), (iii) requires manufacturers of Priority Products to notify DTSC and analyze possible product alternatives, and (iv) imposes a regulatory response, which can include requiring reformulation or even banning the sale of products in California. Although the regulations impose the “principal duty to comply” on the manufacturer and, secondarily, on the importer, the retailer must also comply (or cease ordering the Priority Product component) if the manufacturer fails to do so, and DTSC provides notice of noncompliance to the retailer.
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