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Important Compliance Updates from IABFLO 2024

15
May

The GRS and American Law Label teams were recently down in Norfolk, Virginia for the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials (IABFLO) annual conference.

In attendance were government agencies, regulatory professionals, and industry stakeholders. This year's topics included transitions to online licensing systems, recycled materials, online law label requirements, and discussion towards uniform correction plans for non-compliant labels in the marketplace.

Here are the conference highlights you need to know for the year ahead.

Quick Agency Updates

Several U.S. regulatory agencies announced updates to their staff, processes and upcoming regulations.

California

California (CA) continues to expand its staff as it moves to bring its compliance processes online.

  • Hired 6 new inspectors, expecting to hire 2 more
  • Business modernization project to move processes online (applications and renewals) ; expected to launch end of 2024- beginning of 2025
  • First draft of the Bureau’s proposed amendments to the Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation regulations was issued to stakeholders

Connecticut

Connecticut (CT) has made a sweeping change to how it handles licensing. Learn more here.

  • MFG/ IMP license change: If a company manufactures and imports using the same facility name and address, they no longer require two licenses. The MFG license will suffice for both actions.

Detroit

The City of Detroit, Michigan is steadily moving its compliance processes online.

  • Still in phase 1 of online portal (only can accept payment online) ; all documents still must be mailed in to the department for processing after payment is made

North Carolina

Sanitization is the main focus for North Carolina (NC) this year and beyond.

  • 2024-2025 program will be focusing on education and outreach for sanitization requirements

Ohio

This year Ohio (OH) is putting a focus on improving their testing lab processes.

  • New lab scientist hired and in training
  • Working towards providing more education to labs on their approved labs list to ensure reports are done in accordance to their requirements for registration

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania (PA) is making several updates to improve their customer experience, as well as waiting on approval of new laws for various stuffed articles.

  • Translating applications into Spanish this year
  • Website will be updated this year to include a public license database
  • New online application and renewal portal in development (eDAP) that will allow for all application types to be processed online and a status of application status
  • Update on recycled & reclaimed stuffed toy law

Utah

Utah (UT) continues to work on its online labeling requirements. Learn more here.

  • Online law label repeal (for bedding/furniture) will be up in June and they will be issuing an updated version based on feedback provided by industry

    • Grace period is expected to be extended again to 2026

  • Quilted clothing labels are still required online and inspections are occurring

Virginia

Virginia (VA) is on the verge of adopting new requirements for importers and accepting recycled materials as filling.

  • New full-time fiscal tech processing all applications and renewals for bedding/furniture
  • In final stages of adopting new regulations for importer licensing requirements.
  • Recycled materials will soon be approved for filling materials

GRS Presentation

GRS and American Law Label Inc. Regulatory and Compliance Manager Ashley Ufford also gave a presentation at IABFLO 2024. She was accompanied in the presentation by Bryan Wagstaff, a Senior Compliance Specialist at Casper Sleep.

Correcting Non-compliant Labels in the Marketplace

When incorrect labels are printed and attached to products, companies need a state-approved method to correct those mistakes. The presentation pushed a move toward state uniformity regarding the use of permanent adhesive Tyvek®-quality labels as a corrective measure. 

The process of state departments approving these types of label corrections involves filing variance petitions in Ohio and Utah as well as submitting documentation to various other departments. 

All government departments present were in consensus that this type of corrective measure is allowable given their laws.

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