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Navigating child-resistant packaging certifications: ISO/EN 8317 vs. US16 CFR 1700.20

Timo Kubbinga
Written by
Timo Kubbinga
/ Published on
July 15, 2024

When it comes to ensuring the safety of children around potentially harmful substances, child-resistant packaging certifications play a pivotal role. Manufacturers aiming to market their products in both the European Union and the United States must navigate the requirements of ISO/EN 8317 and US16 CFR 1700.20, respectively. These standards outline the specifications for child-resistant packaging, aiming to prevent children from accessing dangerous products while ensuring that adults can still use them without undue difficulty.

ISO/EN 8317 certification

The ISO/EN8317 standard applies within the European Union and establishes criteria and testing methods for reclosable child-resistant packaging. To obtain certification under ISO/EN 8317, manufacturers must submit their packaging for evaluation by a recognized testing organization. This process involves a series of tests with groups of children and adults to assess the packaging's child resistance and adult usability. Successful packaging must be challenging for children under five to open within a specified time while allowing adults, including seniors, to access the contents with relative ease.

US16 CFR1700.20 certification

In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces the criteria outlined in 16 CFR § 1700.20. This regulation specifies the testing procedures for "special packaging" to be classified as child-resistant. Similar to the European standard, obtaining certification requires passing tests that involve children and adults to evaluate the packaging's effectiveness and usability. The CPSC maintains a list of recognized testing laboratories where manufacturers can submit their packaging for certification. Contrastingly, US16 CFR 1700.20, enforced by the CPSC in the United States, places a specific emphasis on the primary packaging. This regulation mandates that the child-resistant mechanism must be part of the primary packaging of the product. This requirement aims to ensure the highest level of safety by making it challenging for children to access harmful substances.

Certification processes and testing

Despite these differences, both standards require rigorous testing involving specific age groups of children and adults to assess the packaging's child resistance and usability by adults. The process typically necessitates the engagement of recognized testing laboratories, which conduct evaluations according to the criteria set forth by each standard. Successfully passing these tests is essential for certification under either standard, granting manufacturers the ability to market their products with confidence in their compliance with safety regulations.

Packaging certifications and ongoing innovation

Ensuring the safety of children while making products accessible to adults requires navigating a complex landscape of regulations and certifications. With the critical differences between ISO/EN 8317 and US16 CFR 1700.20, manufacturers have a clear path to compliance, but the journey doesn't end with certification. Ongoing innovation, understanding of regulatory updates, and commitment to safety are essential for maintaining the highest standards of child-resistant packaging.

Interested in elevating your packaging solutions? If you're seeking more information on child-resistant packaging and exploring how it can be integrated into your products, our team is here to help. We can help guide you with expertise in the latest regulations, innovative designs, and certification processes.

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