New regs for Thursday: Product recalls and crash test dummies

New rules will be issued or proposed on Thursday for companies trying to recall their products, creating a new type of crash test dummy to check how automobile accidents affect children and amending the visa rules for foreign exchange students.

Here’s what’s on the way:

Product recalls:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is proposing guidelines for notices of products that are being recalled voluntarily.

Current rules require that companies choosing to recall their products make a notice to the public, but they do not say what precisely should be in that notice.

The safety commission’s new rule would outline what businesses have to say in those notices, “bearing in mind that certain elements of product recalls vary and each notice should be tailored appropriately,” it said. The notice would be legally binding.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing to allow a new crash test dummy to be used in safety checks.

The dummy will be built to represent a 3-year-old child, and will be used to test possible new side impact safety requirements. Under a 2012 law, the agency is required to issue new rules to protect children during side impact crashes.

“The agency has tentatively concluded that the dummy is a reliable test device that will provide valuable data in assessing the potential for injury in side impacts and is suitable for incorporation into” its rules, it said.

Separately, the Federal Aviation Administration wants to change its rules for airports to use proceeds from taxes on airplane fuel.

Currently, airports that accept federal money can only use their revenues for “airport-related purposes.” The new rule would clarify that airports looking for help from a federal program must “provide assurance” that funds from state and local aviation fuel taxes are used for operating costs or other programs. 


The Department of Homeland Security is trying to change its rules for exchange student visas.

The changes would give school officials more flexibility to chose how many staffers should be overseeing campuses and allow some students’ spouses and children to study some courses.  

That will “improve management of international student programs and increase opportunities for study by spouses and children of non-immigrant students,” the department said. 


The White House’s budget office has approved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plans to collect some information. 


NASA, the Pentagon and the General Services Administration are extending the comment period on a September proposal to strengthen protections against human trafficking in federal acquisition contracts. 


The Justice Department is amending some of its privacy rules for drug enforcement records.

The changes “reflect a recent reorganization of the Department,” it said. 


The Postal Service is finalizing changes to its international mailing standards.

Additionally, the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, is considering changes to some of its analytical principles.