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Extending Effective Date of Gift Card Provisions of Credit Card Law

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. MAFFEI. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Environmentally Conscious Option Gift Card Act, or ECO-Gift Card Act. This bill gives gift card producers until January 31, 2011, to comply with several provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure, CARD, Act that we passed last year. The current deadline is August 22, 2010, and producers have found that the quick deadline presented many issues.

* If the deadline remains the same, most gift cards on the shelves of stores and in warehouses, which were produced before the law passed, will have to be removed and destroyed, and issuers and merchants will have to produce new cards that comply with the Fed rules.

* In addition to being an onerous burden on gift card issuers and merchants who sell the cards, the forced destruction of tens of millions of noncompliant cards would also result in needless environmental waste. The industry estimates that over 100 million gift cards would need to be destroyed and replaced, a waste volume that would take up more than eight football fields buried 12 feet deep in such cards.

* This extension of the deadline will give issuers and merchants a more reasonable transition period, and prevent a significant amount of environmental waste.

* I urge my colleagues to support this bill and look forward to its passage.

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