Thursday, December 11, 2008

CPSC & CPSIA new laws bad for dollmakers (and other crafters)?

This item was just posted on Etsy. I've still got to check the links, but it doesn't sound good for makers of dolls intended for art or display.

jewelrydesignsbyME says:
I posted this originally at ETSY NJ & plan on posting it everywhere I can. The CPSC & CPSIA new law guidelines effect most of us - sign or start a PETITION NOW. All of us should support each other and stand united to get exclusions or amendments or extensions for compliance referencing USA handmade products and small batch items to this new law by writing to our public officials. Even if none of your items are made directly for children ...

Can you imagine an ETSY, FireArt, 1000 Markets, a local craft show or eBay without any children's items in it? This is effectively THE WORLD'S LARGEST CHILDREN'S PRODUCT RECALL ever imagined. But without the option of returning the items for refund or replacement. THIS NEW CPSIA WILL EFFECT ALL OF US that sell ANY products that can be considered for children. Not just toys and jewelry, but CLOTHING, ROOM DECOR, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, EDUCATIONAL AIDS, ART WORK, ART SUPPLIES, PILLOWS, HAIR BOWS so on & etc. if it is made for someone 12 & under to use it will be subject to the certified testing. Even HAND-ME-DOWNS as resales or vintage items will be subject to the testing.

To read the whole "brief", 67 pages long, requires some basic law education but you can get the gist of it in the CPSIA's FAQ section

This new law is blindsiding us by giving very little notice to comply to it, if we're even able to provide the proofs the the CPSC wants. It's been so under the radar the ETSY doesn't have a STORQUE article on it yet. Neither has eBay or most of the other online seller's outlets even mention the new law. This will put quite a few of us out of business. Even larger companies are having problems complying with the deadline or the batch material testing requirements. Here are a set of excerpts from a recent CPSIA hearing:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Don't just believe that the legislation will change on it's own, do something to let your voice be heard. Write a congressperson, tell ETSY what you feel about this law, blog about it, just get your voice heard by CPSIA that the law is impractical and biased towards small & cottage industries. People for a Greener Earth should also take up this issue since it will put an end to reusing durable children's products outside of the immediate hand me down process, sending tons of good resalable items to landfills.

Generals threads for any one:
for toy makers:
for children's clothing, doll clothes, hair bows, and accessory makers:

A Proposal From the
In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US. Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive!


Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

I know, this is so scary news for artists. And of course there's also the Orphan Works Bill that will impact us. I guess this is why anyone selling any handmade dolls has always made sure to include a disclaimer announcing that they are intended to be collector's items only, not toys for children.

But what happens if you've made a doll using already tested items such as children's socks from the store? Would they need to be tested again? UGH!!

Guess that I have some letter writing to do.

FairiesNest said...

Unfortunately if your doll looks like it could EVER be played with by a child it doesn't matter if you call it an artdoll or label it "not for children under 12" it's still covered by this ridiculously broad law.

Ferragamo Studio said...

I'm sick over this law. Leaving no way to add a disclaimer that an item is not intended for children will affect all dollmakers. It's apparent that little thought went into this bill. I undestand the motivation behind it (protecting our children) but without doing the research to see the broader ramifications of this bill is just plain laziness.