Deadline for car seats certification extended

Published June 11, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The deadline for the certification of imported child restraint systems (CRS) or car seats has been extended up to August this year, the Department of Trade and Industry announced.

The extension of the deadline was contained under DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 21-20, Series of 2021 providing supplemental guidelines for the implementation of DTI Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-03, Series of 2020 or the Technical Regulation concerning the mandatory product certification of car seats. MC 21-20 took effect last May 27, 2021.

The supplemental guidelines was released to address issues raised by importers on the guidelines set under the DAO 20-03, which requires that all CR imported into the country prior to the effectivity of the DAO and are currently in the possession of the importers, distributors, or retailers may be certified by the BPS as per Rule 6 of this Order within 12 months from the effectivity of this Order. DAO 20-03 was issued on July 15, 2020 and took effect 15 days after its publication.

With the issuance of MC 21-20 extending the deadline to August 7 this year, all CRS that are still in the possession of importers, distributors or retailers meet the safety requirements prescribed by the DTI-BPS.

The MC also said that all uncertified CRS covered by DAO 20-03 which have been bought and in the possession of the consumers, the CRS owner must secure a clearance from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in accordance with Section 13 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11229 or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act”.

By 08 August 2021, the BPS said, all CRS in the local market should bear the PS (Philippine Standard) License Mark or ICC Sticker as market monitoring and enforcement shall commence on this date.

The new MC also provides that in order to be granted the Import Commodity Clearance Certification in the absence of a BPS-recognized testing laboratory, importers, distributors, or retailers of CRS are required to submit the following to warrant the compliance of their CRS to the standard: (a) supplier’s/manufacturer’s declaration of product conformity; (b) copy of valid test report for each type/model per brand of imported CRS issued within two (2) years from the date of filing of the application by a testing laboratory accredited by an accreditation body signatory to International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) or the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA); and (c) copy of valid ISO 9001 Certificate of the manufacturer issued by a certification body accredited by an accreditation body signatory to ILAC/APAC MRA.

Moreover, the MC specifies the following standards to verify the conformance of the testing requirements prescribed in the DAO: (a) PNS UNR 44 – Uniform provisions concerning the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of power-driven vehicles “Child Restraint Systems”; (b) PNS UNR 129 – Uniform provisions concerning the approval of Enhanced Child Restraint Systems used on board of motor vehicles, and their future amendments; (c) FMVSS 213 – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard – Child Restraint System; or (d) Other related international standards that have tests equivalent to dynamic tests, overturning test and corrosion tests, as prescribed in Section 8.2 of DAO 20-03, s.2020.

The BPS has included CRS or car seats in the list of products for mandatory certification in pursuant pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act (RA) 11229 or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act”.

CRS is a device capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position. It is also designed as to diminish the risk of injury to the wearer, in the event of a collision or of abrupt

deceleration of the vehicle, by limiting the mobility of the child’s body.

As a result, all manufacturers and importers of CRS are now required to secure a Philippine Standard (PS) license or an ICC certificate prior to marketing, sale and distribution.

DAO 20-03 covers 6 types of CRS: lateral-facing (carry-cot); rearward-facing; forward-facing; combination (rearward/forward-facing); booster cushion/seat; and other types.

The PS Safety Certification Mark Licensing Scheme is available for both local and foreign manufacturers selling or distributing CRS in the Philippines. The license to use the PS Certification Mark is granted to a company found to be compliant with the requirements of the BPS.

BPS conducts regular surveillance activities including factory and product audits.