Zen Magnets Receives Temporary Reprieve from High-powered Magnet Ban
Denver-based Zen Magnets—the last remaining producer of high-powered magnets—has won a stay against the product's ban, giving the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) until April 14 to file a motion.
"The enforcement and effect of the Safety Standard for Magnet Sets is temporarily stayed until further order of the court," the order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said.
The court order, which did not provide a reasoning for the stay, was issued Wednesday—the same day the ban of high-powered magnets was set to take effect. Shihan Qu, Zen's founder, noted the court granted the stay three hours after his company submitted its 20-page motion requesting that action.
"It's far from time to post the 'mission accomplished' banner, but this is a giant and tangible indicator of momentum," he said in a statement on Zen's website. "The temporary but indefinite ruling represents the first judgment outside of the CPSC’s walls which affects U.S. consumers. While we cannot speculate what the court might be considering, if the court thought we had a losing argument, it seems unlikely that it would have granted the stay."
Qu also noted the company is not selling the magnets currently as the uncertainty has caused retailers to be hesitant about purchasing large quantities of product.
"We simply cannot risk driving full speed in the dark without knowing if a wall lies ahead," Qu said, noting the company may decide to manufacture moderate quantities during the stay.
He also is fighting the CPSC over an order to recall previously sold magnets, according to The Denver Post. A decision in that case is expected in May.
“We remain committed to our thoughtful and well-reasoned regulation,” Elliot F. Kaye, CPSC chairman, said in a statement to The New York Times. He added his hope that the court would uphold “the commission’s proper exercise of authority and will quickly agree that the safety of children comes first.”
Related story: CPSC Approves Ban of High-powered Magnet Sets