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No plans to change bicycle helmet reporting requirements

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does not plan to alter the filings required of bicycle helmet manufacturers. CPSC announced in the Federal Register of Tuesday, July 29, 2014 that it plans to ask the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for routine permission to continue using the same information collection for its Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, all federal agencies must periodically review, seek public suggestions and ask OMB for permission to use forms.

CSPC put the matter up for public comment in May. The agency offered no changes in the form but sought public ideas. It received only one comment. The agency is giving the public one more chance to comment. Anyone with ideas can send them to OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov, fax (202) 395-6881, or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the CPSC, OMB, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, or go to http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. CPSC-2010-0056. Refer to OMB Number: 3041-0127.

About 30 manufacturers and importers of bicycle helmets are required to keep test records on roughly 200 models of helmets currently on the market. Regulations require testing on each new production, no matter when the model was originally introduced. Companies must retain their records for three years.

CSPC estimates it takes about 200 hours of work to test each model (including prototypes not yet on the market). After testing, CPSC figures it takes the manufacturers about four hours to complete the necessary forms. CSPC first issued the safety standard in 1998 (16 CFR part 1203). In addition to testing, the standard covers required labeling and instructions.

The one commenter supported the recordkeeping requirements but also recommended changing the testing method regarding the “impact ceiling and positional stability.” CSPC responded that changing the requirements falls out of the scope of the information collection request, which deals only with the burdens put on the helmet industry to comply with the rules. But CPSC passed the suggestion on to its Office of Hazard Identification & Reduction.

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