What is Proposition 65 and What Does it Mean For Your B2B Business?

March 21, 2019

Category: Best Practices

In August 2018, businesses that sell, or manufacture, supply, or distribute products sold in California had to comply with updated regulations to Proposition 65. However, many B2B buyers and sellers may still be confused as to what Proposition 65 really is and what it means for their business.

Proposition 65 is a law passed in California, referred to as the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Proposition 65 requires the State of California to maintain and update a list of chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.  Businesses with 10 or more employees that expose individuals to listed chemicals through their products or operations generally must provide warnings.

In 2016 and 2017, new regulations were added requiring new safe harbor warning language and, more importantly, requiring compliance for businesses that offer catalog sales or online purchases. Businesses need to be in compliance with these regulations by August 2018.

What does Proposition 65 mean for your B2B Business?

For B2B businesses, the updated regulations are meant to clarify that manufacturers, producers, packagers, suppliers and distributors must also comply with the law. The changes state that businesses must either provide the warning on either product labels or annually notify the downstream supply chain partners and retailers of the warning requirements. The business must also provide all necessary warning language and materials to that retailer.

The new regulations also specify that online and catalogs need to compy Proposition 65. For online sales, the warning and language are required to be displayed in-line (or via a specific hyperlink) on product pages or prominently displayed prior to completing a purchase. For catalog sales, the warning and language must be displayed in a manner that clearly ties the product to it. The addition of online and catalog sales are the most significant changes to the original Proposition 65 law and exposes B2B businesses to the most legal risk.  

For B2B businesses, it’s important to understand the requirements of these changes and be able to comply with them for both your supply chain partners and ultimate end customers. Be prepared to answer any questions you may get about why there are warning on your products. Four51 has consulted with clients to help ensure their storefront sites are compliant. Reach out if you’re like more information today.