Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 6. Environmental Health Services
1/20/2021

Article 7. Bedding and Upholstered Furniture.

§ 32.1-212. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context otherwise requires:

"Bedding" means any mattress, mattress pad, box spring, upholstered bed, davenport, upholstered sofa bed, quilted pad, comforter, bolster, cushion, pillow, featherbed, sleeping bag, or any other bag, case or cover made of leather, textile or other material which is stuffed or filled in whole or in part with concealed substance, which can be used by any human being for sleeping or reclining purposes.

"Filling material" means cotton, wool, feathers, kapok, down, plant or vegetable fibers, or any other material or substance or combination thereof, loose or in batting, pads, or any prefabricated form, that is used or that may be used in articles of bedding or upholstered furniture.

"Importer" means any person who for the purpose of manufacture or resale receives bedding, upholstered furniture or filling material from any country other than the United States.

"New" means not previously used for any purpose. Manufacturing processes shall not be considered a prior use.

"Sanitize" means to reduce the level of microbiological agents to a level not injurious to health.

"Secondhand" means having been made prior use of or containing any filling material of which prior use has been made.

"Shoddy" means any material which has been spun into yarn, knit or woven into fabric and subsequently cut up, torn up, broken or ground up.

"Sterilize" means to render free of viable microbiological agents.

"Upholstered furniture" means any article of furniture designed to be used for sitting, resting, or reclining that is wholly or partly stuffed or filled with any filling material.

Code 1950, § 32-117; 1952, c. 530; 1956, c. 530; 1979, c. 711; 2005, c. 391.

§ 32.1-213. Shoddy, secondhand filling material, feathers, animal hair and down to be sanitized.

No person shall use in the making, remaking, reupholstering or renovating of any bedding or upholstered furniture any shoddy or any fabric from which shoddy is made or any secondhand filling material or any secondhand feathers, animal hair or down, unless such shoddy, secondhand filling material, feathers, hair or down has been sanitized by a reasonable process approved by the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 32-118; 1952, c. 530; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-214. New animal hair, feathers and down to be sterilized.

No person shall use in the making, remaking, reupholstering or renovating of any bedding or upholstered furniture any new animal hair, new feathers or new down unless such new animal hair, new feathers or new down shall have been sterilized by a reasonable process approved by the Commissioner.

1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-215. Disposal restricted.

No person engaged in commerce shall rent, offer or expose for sale, barter, give away, or dispose of in any other commercial manner any article of bedding or upholstered furniture made, remade, reupholstered, or renovated in violation of § 32.1-213 or 32.1-214 or any secondhand article of bedding or upholstered furniture unless since last used such secondhand article has been sanitized by a reasonable process approved by the Commissioner. However, a retailer may sell, give away, or rent used upholstered furniture when the used upholstered furniture has been purchased by the retailer as new furniture and has been used in the course of business. Such used furniture shall be (i) conspicuously identified as used furniture and (ii) reduced in price, sold at auction, donated to charity, or made available for a rental fee, and so tagged.

Code 1950, § 32-119; 1952, c. 530; 1956, c. 530; 1979, c. 711; 2005, c. 391.

§ 32.1-216. Permit for use of process to sanitize or sterilize.

Any person applying for approval of a process by which filling materials, bedding or upholstered furniture are sanitized or sterilized shall submit to the Commissioner a description of the process and any apparatus and method to be used in such process. Upon approval of such process by the Commissioner and payment of the current annual permit fee by the applicant, a numbered permit for use of such process shall be issued. Such permit shall expire one year from the date of issue. Nothing herein shall prevent any person from having any sanitizing or sterilization required by this article performed by any person who has a valid permit for such purposes, provided the number of such permit appears on the tag attached to each article as required by § 32.1-219.

Code 1950, § 32-120; 1976, c. 317; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-217. License and registration number; renewal; licenses not transferable; responsibility of branch factories.

A. Every importer and every person manufacturing, renovating or reupholstering any bedding or upholstered furniture or processing or selling any filling material to be used in articles of bedding or upholstered furniture shall first obtain a license from the Commissioner for each place of business, subsidiary or branch operated by him for such purpose. Such license shall be numbered, shall expire one year from the date of issue, shall be renewable annually unless sooner revoked and shall not be transferable. Each branch, branch factory and subsidiary shall be responsible for the contents and for the tagging, as provided in this article, of items of bedding and upholstered furniture made, remade, renovated, reupholstered or imported by it and offered for sale or use in the Commonwealth.

B. The Commissioner shall assign a registration number to each licensee.

Code 1950, § 32-120.1; 1954, c. 666; 1956, c. 530; 1970, c. 578; 1976, c. 317; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-218. Fees.

The Board shall set the annual fees imposed for licenses and permits issued pursuant to this article. All fees collected shall be deposited and held by the Department in a separate fund, from which shall be paid all expenditures necessary in carrying out the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 32-120.1; 1954, c. 666; 1956, c. 530; 1970, c. 578; 1976, c. 317; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-219. Tags required.

A. Every importer of and every person manufacturing a new item of bedding or upholstered furniture shall attach securely thereto a substantial white cloth tag or equivalent, visible on the outside covering of such item and not less than six square inches in size, upon which shall be plainly stamped or printed, in English, the name and address of the manufacturer, importer or distributor, the registration number of the manufacturer or importer, the kind of filling materials used therein, a statement that the filling materials are new, and the number of the permit issued to the person sterilizing any new feathers, hair or down in such item.

B. Any person sanitizing, remaking, renovating or reupholstering any secondhand item of bedding or upholstered furniture or manufacturing any item of bedding or upholstered furniture containing any shoddy or secondhand filling material shall attach securely to it a substantial yellow cloth tag or equivalent, visible on the outside of such item and not less than six square inches in size, upon which shall be stamped or printed, in English, the kind of filling materials used therein, a statement that the item or filling materials are secondhand, and the number of the permit issued to the person who sanitized such item or filling material.

C. The stamp or print on tags required by this section shall be in type not less than three millimeters in height.

Code 1950, § 32-122; 1952, c. 530; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-220. Same; filling material.

Any person shipping or delivering filling material, however contained, shall have conspicuously attached thereto a tag upon which shall be stamped or printed, as provided in § 32.1-219 or as provided by the regulations of the Board, the kind of material, whether the material is new or secondhand, the name, address and registration number of the manufacturer or importer and the permit number of the person who sterilized or sanitized such material.

Code 1950, § 32-122.1; 1956, c. 530; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-221. Offenses as to tags.

A. It shall be unlawful to use any false or misleading statement, term or designation on any tag required by this article or to remove, deface or alter, or to attempt to remove, deface or alter any such tag or the statement of filling materials made thereon, prior to retail sale.

B. No person shall use or have in his possession with intent to use any tag provided for in this article unless such person holds a license or permit issued to him pursuant to this article. No person shall sell, give or in any way provide such tags to anyone who does not have a license or permit issued to him pursuant to this article.

Code 1950, § 32-125; 1954, c. 666; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-222. Return of improperly tagged items; payment of costs of return; failure to pay costs.

Upon a complaint made to the Commissioner as provided in § 32.1-224, the Commissioner may order the return of any item of bedding or upholstered furniture or any filling material made, remade, renovated, reupholstered, prepared, processed, tagged or not tagged in violation of the provisions of this article to the manufacturer or importer thereof. The manufacturer or importer shall be liable to the person returning such item for the costs of crating, shipping and the invoice price to the purchaser. Failure of a manufacturer or importer to pay such costs to the person returning such item shall be grounds for revocation or suspension of a license issued pursuant to this article.

1979, c. 711; 2003, c. 1003.

§ 32.1-223. New and sanitized items to be kept separate.

New and sanitized upholstered furniture, bedding and filling materials shall be kept separate from any secondhand upholstered furniture, bedding and filling materials that have not been sanitized.

1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-224. Administration and enforcement by Commissioner; refusal, suspension or revocation of license or permit.

The Commissioner is charged with the administration and enforcement of this article, except as otherwise provided in this article. Only upon a complaint made to the Commissioner relating to a violation of this article may the Commissioner inspect the premises of a holder of a license or permit issued by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may refuse to issue, may suspend or may revoke the license or permit of any person (i) who violates any provision of this article, any regulation of the Board pursuant to this article or any order of the Board or Commissioner or (ii) who is not a resident of the Commonwealth and fails or refuses to enter an appearance in any circuit court in the Commonwealth to answer a charge or charges of violation of any provision of this article, regulation of the Board or order of the Board or Commissioner within 25 days after service upon him of a notice by certified mail.

Code 1950, § 32-126; 1952, c. 530; 1979, c. 711; 2003, c. 1003.

§ 32.1-225. Exemptions.

A. The provisions of this article shall not apply to:

1. Any items of bedding or upholstered furniture sold under the order of any court or pursuant to § 55.1-2902, any sale of a decedent's estate or any sale by any individual of his household effects.

2. Any interstate public carrier.

3. Any state institution, agency or department unless such institution, agency or department offers for sale to the public items of bedding or upholstered furniture manufactured, reupholstered or renovated by it.

4. Any retailer who sells, gives away, or rents used upholstered furniture that has been purchased by the retailer as new furniture and has been used in the course of business when such used furniture has been (i) conspicuously identified as used furniture and (ii) reduced in price, sold at auction, donated to charity, or made available for a rental fee, and so tagged.

B. Any person who sells at retail, exclusively on a consignment basis, articles of bedding that are handmade by individuals and whose gross annual receipts from the sale of such articles are not in excess of $2,000 shall be deemed to be the manufacturer of such articles and shall not be required to obtain a license to make such articles. Each such article shall have a label affixed stating the kind of filling materials used in such article but shall be exempt from any other requirement as to tags set forth in this article.

Code 1950, § 32-127; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 130; 2001, c. 454; 2005, c. 391.

§ 32.1-226. Violation a misdemeanor; application of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

A. Any person violating any provision of this article or any regulation of the Board adopted pursuant to this article shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

B. Additionally, any violation of the provisions of this article or regulations of the Board shall constitute a prohibited practice in accordance with § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to any and all of the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 32-129; 1952, c. 530; 1954, c. 666; 1956, c. 530; 1979, c. 711; 2003, c. 1003.