Proposition 65 Deadline: Frequently Asked Questions

Proposition 65 Deadline: Frequently Asked Questions

As the August 30 deadline for the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (better known as Proposition 65) approaches, many companies still face uncertainty about their obligations under the new labeling requirements. At Assent, we’ve received many questions about how to handle the deadline — and we’ve answered the six that get asked most frequently below.

Q: Where can I use the new short-form warning?

You can use the new short-form warning on any product. However, no matter whether you use the long or short-form warning, you need to collect supplier documentation to substantiate the labeling.

Q: When should I include a Spanish translation of the warning label?

Proposition 65 labels must match the languages that appear on product packaging. This means that if your packaging includes Spanish text, a Spanish warning is needed. We have seen packaging that requires Proposition 65 labels to be translated into three to four languages due to multilingual packaging.

Q: Are warning requirements based on the manufacture date or the import date?

Provided they comply with the 2008 revisions to Proposition 65, warnings on products manufactured before August 30, 2018 will be deemed clear and reasonable.

Q: How do I handle online sales through my company’s website?

Some companies choose to embed the warning label text on the product page. However, we recommend a pop-up window that is triggered by zip code, as this limits the warning to California residents only.

This can be accomplished by displaying text that a consumer or purchaser has to actively accept before completing their transaction. This can appear after they have put an item into their online shopping cart and proceeded to the payment phase of the purchase.

Q: Does my print catalog need to include consumer warnings?

If your paper catalog provides a means to purchase, such as a phone number to place orders, then you need to include warnings. If your catalog is a guide to your products and does not include a means to purchase in the state of California, warnings are not necessary.

Q: How can I manage Proposition 65 compliance through distributors, wholesalers or other high volume partners that distribute my product(s)?

Many companies that sell exclusively through business-to-business transactions are still in scope of Proposition 65. Products may end up sold downstream in unknown places, such as through online retailers. We recommend providing a mechanism to transfer the labeling responsibility to your distributor or wholesaler by sending a letter as of August 30, and then again six months later, informing them of your product’s Proposition 65 labeling requirements. From then on, send a letter every year to actively communicate important information about your products. Per the state of California’s guidance, this will relieve you of responsibility if you or your supplier later receive notice of litigation.

The Proposition 65 deadline is fast approaching. Download our guidance on how you can mitigate your risk of litigation before the August 30 labeling deadline.

To learn how Assent’s Product Compliance Suite can help companies collect data from the supply chain for Proposition 65 compliance, email