Scott A. Cohn
Scott focuses his counsel on product safety and compliance, product labeling, and advertising and regulation of imported goods.
Product Safety & Compliance
In the area of product safety and compliance, as regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal and state agencies, Scott has experience with the following:
- Product Safety Evaluations, including Laboratory Testing and Failure Analyses
- Hazard/Defect Reporting (Section 15 and 37)
- Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
- CPSC, investigations, and penalties
- Flammability of apparel and children’s sleepwear, including exemptions for tight-fitting sleepwear
- Children’s products, including toys and games; small parts, sharp edges, heavy metals, lead content (including Proposition 65 in California), toxicity and contamination, etc.
- Drawstring restrictions on apparel
- Household products: candles, lighters, mattresses, cookware, small electronics, etc.
- Furniture products: cribs, chairs, stools, upholstered products, etc.
- Medical devices, cosmetics, and OTC remedies
- Internal compliance reviews and manuals, and development of quality assurance procedures and programs
Product Labeling & Advertising
Scott’s practice also involves product labeling and advertising, as regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal and state agencies. In this area he has experience with the following:
- Internet and Catalog Disclosures and Mail Order Rules
- Advertising Substantiation
- Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Luggage labeling
- RN number filings
- Leather labeling
- Care labeling for apparel
- Upholstery and Bedding labeling/tagging as required by individual states
- "Made In USA" labeling rules for all products
- Warranty issues
- Privacy issues for consumers
- Jewelry labeling and advertising
- Organic labeling for food products under US Department of Agriculture/AMS Rules
- Country of origin disclosures as required by Customs and FTC
Made in USA
Scott’s practice involves counseling and representing companies in connection with "Made in USA" claims (qualified and unqualified) in advertising and on product labeling, with particular emphasis on FTC compliance and California law, but also in connection with foreign country of origin disclosures on products. Scott has extensive experience in American-made claims for virtually all product categories and across all industry sectors, including analyzing documentation requirements to support FTC-required substantiation for such “American-made” claims in the following industries:
- Personal care products
- Apparel and textiles
- Electronics and lighting products
- Machinery and hoses
- Components and subassemblies
Consumer Product Recalls
Scott’s practice also involves counseling and representing companies in connection with consumer product recalls conducted in cooperation with CPSC, as well as with Health Canada and similar regulatory agencies worldwide. Scott has extensive experience in recalls of all product categories and across all industry sectors, and include the following:
- Candles and candle holders
- Wax warmers
- Electric heaters
- Portable gas-powered generators
- ATV parts, including clutches, and other after-market components
- Children’s jewelry containing lead, chromium, and other heavy metals
- Toys with small parts or sharp edges/points
- Toys with lead in paints or substrate materials
- Apparel that fails to meet flammability standards
- Children’s sleepwear that fails to meet flammability standards, including tight-fitting sleepwear
- Children’s shoes and sneakers with sharp surfaces
- Glassware, including pitchers, tumblers, and mugs
- Holiday ornaments
- Children’s cups
- Office chairs
- Kitchen appliances
- AC adapters for video game console systems
- Window blinds
- Patio torches
- Fire extinguishers
- Lighting products
Scott has also successfully negotiated settlements with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on behalf of retailers, wholesalers, importers, and manufacturers in enforcement actions involving civil penalty assessments, including the following:
- Negotiated the closure of a civil penalty investigation without the imposition of penalties on behalf of a global apparel retail chain in a case involving the inadvertent post-recall sale of recalled goods
- Successfully settled a major civil penalty investigation for a major US retailer in the first case brought by CPSC in the context of retailer “reverse logistics” processes and allegations of post-recall sales of recalled goods
- Favorably negotiated a single settlement for a major US beverage and food chain in two complex recall cases involving allegations of failure to file a timely product hazard report with CPSC
In addition, Scott can provide counseling on the following:
- Making Unqualified vs. Qualified "Made in USA" claims;
- Complex cross-border manufacturing operations;
- Obtaining country of origin rulings from Customs and Border Protection;
- Documentation requirements to support FTC-required substantiation for American-made claims;
- Cost and substantial transformation analyses for U.S. production operations; and
- Compliance with global country of origin requirements for products distributed worldwide.
Additionally, with regard to the regulation of imported goods, as enforced by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other federal and state agencies, Scott’s practice includes experience with the following:
- Tariff Classification, Duty Rates, and Quota Restrictions applicable to all product categories
- Structuring international trade transactions to lawfully minimize duties
- NAFTA and other trade preference programs, such as IFTA, GSP, and AGOA
- Informed compliance and reasonable care evaluations
- Customs compliance audits and internal control manuals
- Valuation of imported goods (transfer pricing, first sale, etc.)
- Country of origin marking
- Trademark and copyright protection and enforcement
- Detentions, seizures, penalties, civil/criminal investigations
- Country of origin verifications
- Labor compliance programs
- Restrictions on artwork and antiquities
- Recordkeeping and record retention
- FDA penalty enforcement actions on imports
- Endangered species issues as enforced by Fish & Wildlife Service
- Importation of fine art and antiquities
- Vendor supply agreements
- Buying agency agreements
- Import/Export enforcement by Office of Foreign Assets Control, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, Department of State, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Environmental Protection Agency, etc.
Scott has represented and provided counsel to hundreds of domestic and foreign corporations (many Fortune 100) from a wide variety of industries. These companies include manufacturers, importers, agents, and retailers involved in the manufacture and distribution of products that are subject to a complex array of federal, state, and international regulatory requirements.
Scott has experience with a large number of product categories, most notably apparel, footwear, luggage, electronics, toys, video games, fine art and antiquities, cookware, food, sporting goods, furniture, packaging, machinery, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and personal care.
On behalf of a national apparel retailer and importer, Scott petitioned for and obtained release of complex multimillion-dollar importations of apparel subject to country of origin enforcement and verification by US Customs and Border Protection.
For a national food and beverage retailer, he filed an emergency petition for revisions and clarifications to new organic labeling regulations, which resulted in the publication of amended regulations by the US Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Marketing Service.
Scott also negotiated a significant mitigation of substantial civil penalties imposed by the CPSC in connection with recalled merchandise for a national retailer of wearing apparel.
On behalf of a foreign supplier of food products, Scott petitioned for substantial mitigation of civil penalties imposed by US Customs and Border Protection and the FDA for an alleged failure to properly disclose certain food ingredients
Scott has also recently advised and assisted several national and international retailers and importers in connection with large consumer product recalls (including candles, children’s cups, cribs, art kits, children’s sleepwear, furniture, portable heaters, electric griddles, decorative lighting, toys, office chairs, bicycles, and many other products) conducted in cooperation with the CPSC.