Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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CPSC to Enforce Helmet Standard - 1995

Summary: A 1995 letter in response to our inquiry on how the new CPSC
interim rule covering bicycle helmets would be administered.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20207-0001

Division of Regulatory Management
Frank Krivda, Compliance Officer
Tel: 301-504-0400 EXT 1372 Fax: 301-504-0359

05 May 1995

Randy Swart, Director
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
4611 Seventh Street South
Arlington, VA 22204-1419

Dear Mr. Swart:

This is in response to your letter of March 29, 1995 concerning enforcement questions for the Interim Rule: Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets.

The Safety Standards For Bicycle Helmets, 16 CFR 1203, is considered a consumer product safety standard issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Bicycle helmets manufactured, either domestically or by a foreign firm for export into the United States, on or after the March 16, 1995 effective date, must comply with at least one of the interim standards. It is a prohibited act under Section 19 of the CPSA to offer for sale, distribute in commerce, or import into the United States a bicycle helmet that does not meet one of the interim standards under 16 CFR 1203. The penalties for violation of Section 19 are found under Sections 20, 21, and 22 of the CPSA. Copy of the CPSA is enclosed.

The interim rule covers bicycle helmets manufactured on or after the effective date for "... distribution in commerce ..." as defined under Section 3(a)(11) of the CPSA. It would not cover helmets manufactured for prototype or experimental purposes that are not intended to be held for sale. Exporters of bicycle helmets that do not meet the requirements under 16 CFR 1203 must notify the Commission at least 30 days in advance of any exportation in accordance with 16 CFR 1019, Procedures for Export of Noncomplying Products, copy enclosed.

The Commission staff has provided an information letter and a copy of the interim standard to 185 known bicycle helmet manufacturers, suppliers, or interested parties advising them of the effective date of the standard and its requirements. A copy of the cover letter is enclosed.

The staff of CPSC is currently investigating all reports of alleged noncompliance of the interim bicycle standard for bicycle helmets manufactured on or after March 16, 1995. Helmets suspected of not complying will be tested by the Commission laboratory. All firms will be notified of noncompliance with the standard and appropriate corrective action will be requested.

Thank you for your interest in this area. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or write to me at the above address.


Francis J. Krivda