The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comments from the public on whether to repeal its Dry Cell Battery Rule, which prohibits representations that dry cell batteries will not leak. The FTC is conducting a review of the rule as part of an overall effort to update its regulations and guides and eliminate those that are no longer necessary or useful. Since the regulatory reform effort began, the FTC has repealed 27 rules and guides and streamlined or updated several more. A notice in today's Federal Register describes the Dry Cell Battery Rule in further detail, lists a number of specific questions on which the FTC is seeking comments, and states that comments are due May 27.
The FTC promulgated the Dry Cell Battery Rule in 1964, based on its finding that, despite efforts by manufacturers to eliminate electrolyte leakage, dry cell batteries continued to leak and cause damage in ordinary use. The FTC now has conducted an informal review of industry practices and found no rule violations; nor has the agency received any complaints from the public or taken any law enforcement actions alleging violations. The Commission also noted that the industry generally is in voluntary compliance with an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. The ANSI standard requires information to be printed on batteries and battery packages informing consumers that dry cell batteries may leak if abused or misused. Therefore, the Commission has tentatively concluded that the rule is no longer necessary and seeks public comments on its proposed repeal.
The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice seeking comments on whether the Commission should initiate a proceeding to repeal the rule was 5-0. Comments should be directed to the Secretary, FTC, Room 159, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, and identifed as "16 CFR Part 403 Comment."
Copies of the Federal Register notice are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
(FTC Matter No. P974226)