Price of children's toys could skyrocket because of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008
New CPSIA law may be kiss of death for small businesses.
I realize this new law has taken many by surprise. Some are concerned this is all hype and panic and I've even heard people saying this is like the Y2K scare, only it isn't. The CPSIA is an actual law, Y2K was a fear without governmental control.
I want to assure you this law is not a scam and it is not something to be sceptical about. This is real and the concern is most definitely real. Companies are already closing, others are refusing to sell to US markets now.
The Goodwill and Salvation Army will stop selling used infant and children's items. Landfills are going to fill up overnight with items that can't be sold because of the 'retroactive' clause in this new law — making ANY item, regardless of whether it was made before or after the law went into effect, have mandatory testing done in order to sell it.
One big concern is how the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) will enforce this law — no one knows how that will happen. The CPSC does talk about tracking, that might be one way they will do it. They are small and limited, which could give many the opportunity to sneak by. However, if someone is caught or someone calls the CPSC to see if your product is 'safe and certified' (which would be a red flag) the minimum penalty is 2 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Chances are I might not ever get caught — but the Bible tells us to obey man's laws when possible, and obviously this is possible. It isn't what I want, but it is what I need to do in order to obey the law.
Many businesses have not even heard about this law yet. Laws are passed all the time without the public being aware of them, and unless the media kicks in to inform the public, we don't always know about laws that are passed and go into effect. This is a prime example of this problem.
Also, my husband as well as many others who are learning about this law expect manufacturers to do the testing before retailers purchase items. That's not happening. For example, most of the companies I order supplies from to make our kits are not testing because they state they are selling to the public (adults), not to children. Since I am purchasing their goods and turning them into products that would be used for a child, it is my responsibility to do the testing because I am the 'end producer' of what is sold for children's use.
If I print 500-1000 books, like I normally do, each time I reprint a new lot of books, I am required to have that lot retested.
Regarding books — if I ordered 50,000 copies printed in one lump and had one of those copies tested, that is not a big expense in the long run and I only need to have that lot tested once. However, if I printed 500-1000 like I normally do, every time I reprinted a new lot I would need to have that lot tested again. This is what will kill small businesses — and this is what is sending me out of business.
Our kits we create one bolt of fabric at a time. I might end up with 100-500 kits per bolt depending on the kit. But each time I order a new bolt of fabric (or any supply for the kit) I need to retest the kit again. And each time it would be at least $4,000 per test, possibly more because I have so many items in each kit.
The new law is just starting to come to the attention of the news and media outlets because people like me, people like you, people in your church and local area are calling and starting to ask questions — otherwise even the media would be unaware of this law and its implications to the economy. Expect to see a lot more on this over the coming weeks.
The new law is CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act). Here are several links to help you start researching:
From the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission):
Under Section 101, any children's product that contains more than the established limits shall be treated as a banned hazardous substance. "Play" or "play value" is not a factor.
CPSIA Section 108, pertaining to phthalates, applies to any children's toy or child care article: "children's toy" defined as designed or intended for child 12 years of age or younger for use by the child when the child plays.
ASTM F963-07 Toy Safety Standard excludes art materials in which the material itself is not primarily of "play value"
This is just a little of what is found online. I hope this helps.
There is one positive thing to report, there MAY be an amendment made to allow all natural cotton and wood products to be exempted from testing. But this means 100% cotton without dyes and without snaps, buttons, velcro, zippers, and polyester threads, etc... — so garments, diapers, etc are out. 100% wood items with no nails, screws, polyurethane, paint, mineral oil, stain, glue, etc. So you're looking at a toy block with no decoration and no coating whatsoever — not much else you can do with plain wood.
They bent the tiniest fraction of a bit — they have a long, long way to go to make this workable.
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