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Breaking down the US Court of Appeals ruling on WCMA lawsuit challenging CPSC ruling on corded window products

In November of last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a ruling that would greatly impact window shade manufacturers in the United States. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) filed a suit against the Commission, and the court ruled in favor of WCMA on September 12th, nearly 10 months since being served. 

As a commercial window treatment manufacturer, we want to help you understand the latest press release from the WCMA, and what this means for your facility and future specifications of window shades. 

“The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) achieved a resounding victory in its lawsuit challenging the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) rule, A Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Windows. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today unanimously ruled in favor of granting the WCMA’s petition for review, vacating the CPSC’s rule, and remanding the matter to the CPSC.”

To vacate a judgment means to make a previous judgment legally void. 

“The court agreed with WCMA that CPSC failed to provide an opportunity to comment on the underlying incident data, conducted a flawed cost-benefit analysis that ignored the enormous harm that the rule would have caused the multibillion-dollar custom window coverings industry, and selected an arbitrary effective date for the rule.” 

At Inpro, we’ve been manufacturing corded and cordless options for decades – never prioritizing revenue over building occupant safety. 

“The window covering industry will continue to be required to meet the provisions of the voluntary window covering safety standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018. The 2022 revised, updated window covering standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2022, has been approved by ANSI. The compliance date for the new standard for all companies manufacturing, distributing or selling window covering products in the U.S. is June 1, 2024. The 2022 updated standard will require the vast majority of all window covering products sold in the United States to be cordless or to have inaccessible or short cords. The revised, updated safety standard strengthens window-covering safety by eliminating the use of free hanging operating cords, free hanging tilt cords, and multiple cord connectors on all made-to-order custom window covering products.”

Cords are still allowed on certain window shade covering products, but are regulated to a stricter degree beginning the summer of 2024. Child safety tension devices used with continuous chain loops are not affect by the 2022 change, and will still be allowed under the ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2022 for custom window treatments. 

“The industry’s voluntary standard has been a success and has significantly decreased incidents and improved product safety. Industry members have always considered compliance with the standard to be mandatory, and CPSC acknowledges that there is substantial compliance with the standard. Despite that success, the CPSC promulgated its new mandatory rule, circumventing the process envisioned under the CPSA.”

WCMA argued that the CPSC’s ruling was made steadfast despite the improved safety measures already taken in previous regulations.

What does the recent court ruling in favor of the WCMA mean for customers using Inpro’s Commercial Window Treatment products? 

Manufacturers can continue using the ANSI/WCMA Child Safety Tension Device being used today. The Chain Guard is optional to use in place of the ANSI/WCMA hold down. 

How does the 2022 version of the ANSI/WCMA product standards (taking effect June 1, 2024) differ from the current 2018 version in effect today in relation to using Inpro’s Commercial Window Treatment products? 

Child safety tension devices used with continuous chain loops are not affected by the 2022 change, and will still be allowed under the ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2022 for custom window treatments.

At Inpro, safety is our highest priority. We want facilities to have the best window shade covering options available to them that fit their unique needs, and also are the best choice for their building occupants. Inpro offers both Manual Cordless and Motorized Shades that are third party certified to meet WCMA Best for Kids product requirements.  

To learn more about our full line of window shade products or to speak with a dedicated window shade covering representative, contact us today. 

Read the press release from the WCMA here


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