2016 JPMA Summit and Annual Meeting Wrap-up
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Posted by: Kathleen Chaplick
JPMA’s annual summit was held in Washington, DC Feb. 2-4, with more than 80 members in attendance. Keeping with the summit’s theme, “Producing for the Future,” the three-day event started with an overview of regulatory and legislative activity by JPMA Counsel, Rick Locker; Managing Director of Public and Government Affairs, Julie Vallese; and Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Mark Fellin. From a regulatory perspective, most activity at CPSC will continue to be focused on the 104 rules as outlined in the CPSC 2016 operating plan. At NHTSA, rulemaking continues on updating the 213 frontal crash testing bench and implementing side impact regulations. On Capitol Hill, legislative activity is minimal for the juvenile products industry. It is at the state level where the majority of legislative activity is taking place, most specifically proposing new chemical restrictions, reporting and bans.
The second day of the Summit was a full day of programming to provide insight and education on many issues that affect the juvenile products industry. Some topics incorporated recommendations or areas of interest from the previous year’s member survey.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Blair Anderson opened the morning as the breakfast keynote speaker. He shared his perspective on traffic and child passenger safety, and the updates the agency is making to maintain rules and regulations that best reflect today’s use of transportation and incorporation of new technologies. He touched on the need to be able to connect with consumers in the event of a safety recall, not only for CRS but automobiles as well, and how NHTSA is trying to work more closely with industry to increase recall effectiveness.
Andy Hackman of Serlin Haley provided an overview of state regulatory activity, as the states are playing a more active role in introducing and passing new regulations. He focused on how more states are taking chemical and regulatory actions into their own hands.
Brian Patterson with Go Fish Digital talked to the group about social media reach, reputation management and recalls. His presentation focused on how companies need to better understand the sometimes-limited reach of social media, and how to adapt messaging, frequency of messaging and engagement with key audiences.
CPSC Chairman Elliott Kaye was the day’s luncheon keynote speaker. Chairman Elliot Kaye urged continued dialog in solving the warning labels issue currently before the Commission. He focused on JPMA members learning what information staffers need to make decisions and then bringing it to discussions.
Other topics he addressed included the efiling pilot, staff involvement in voluntary standards, the revived retrospective review effort, his perception that the U.S. regulatory system is poorly suited to address concerns about chronic chemical exposure, head injuries in sports and the Chairman's Challenge to seek out new ways to solve complex health and safety dilemmas.
Schiff Hardin’s Jonathan Judge provided a perspective on how companies can better utilize statistics to make key points in regulatory discussions and build strategies in their manufacturing processes. Often, statistics and data are used by regulators to encourage or require manufacturers to take public action on products. Jonathan provided insight and advice on how manufacturers may be able to look at the same numbers and come to a different conclusion that could be used to their advantage.
CPSC Deputy Director at the Office of Compliance and Field Operations Carol Cave, who has addressed the group before but in a different role, reintroduced herself to the group in her new role. In doing so, she provided information about how she will run the office of compliance and her perspective of how it is important for manufacturers and regulators to work together to advance safety and comply with new CPSIA requirements. She ensured the audience that there is an open-door policy for manufacturers to ask questions about compliance requirements, gain insight into thought processes at the agency and encouraged members to seek guidance before possible issues arise.
Finally, White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Danny Marti introduced the group to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. He provided insights into the different offices around the world his office works with and the investigations and actions taken to prevent counterfeiting and remove counterfeit goods from the market. Audience members provided examples of how their companies have experienced counterfeiting and intellectual property theft and engaged with Marti on ways they might be able to work with his office to prevent these activities from occurring in the future.
If you have IP theft or counterfeiting information or examples you would like to share, please send them to Julie Vallese email@example.com. We will be following up with Mr. Marti and working with his office and the IPR Center to arrange a follow-up meeting and discuss the issue and investigations in more detail.
The final day of the summit was focused on meeting with regulators from both the CPSC and NHTSA. The group met with Commissioners Adler, Robinson and Buerkle, with each discussing priorities for 2016. All expressed the need for continued engagement on 104 rulemaking and encouraged the continued submission of comments during the rulemaking processes.
About half of those who attended the meetings with CPSC continued on to a lunch sponsored by Cal-Span before heading over to meet with staff at NHTSA. The meeting was a continuation of past meetings discussing rulemaking updates to FMVSS213 and side impact rulemaking. The group did discuss the issue of FR chemicals and the needs for use to meet NHTSA’s strict flammability requirement. NHTSA firmly believes that a requirement must remain in place for CRS, however brought up the possibility of an alternative test for CRS.