I've spent a great deal of time over the past week reviewing the legislation and discussing it with my fellow mom-preneurs, and I must say that I am very discouraged by this law in its current form. The Act is, in theory, a good idea and I am all for increasing the safety of products that we allow into this country and into the hands of our children. However, the CPSIA definitely has it's shortcomings and seems to have been a knee-jerk reaction to a complex and multi-faceted issue. As it currently stands, the Act is incredibly global in nature with regulations that will result in incredibly high expenses for manufacturers, particularly small, mom-and-pop companies specializing in beautifully handcrafted items for children.
With the Act set to take effect in Feb. 2009, manufacturers will be forced to pay safety certification fees that range from the hundreds to thousands of dollars PER ITEM in order to continue selling their items. Not such a big concern for the large manufacturers specializing in mass production...potentially crippling for the smaller US businesses who have a history of providing quality childrens products with no history of safety issues. Items effected are toys (wooden, felt, etc...you name it!), clothing, blankets, hair accessories, tutus, and much, much more!
It appears as though the CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of products made in the US, Canada, and Europe that have already earned the public's trust and adoration. The end result is, that unless the law is amended, HANDMADE CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS WILL NO LONGER BE LEGAL IN THE US.
Click HERE to view a wealth of information from the Handmade Toy Alliance.
Click HERE to view the actual CPSIA legislation, FAQs, and updates.
How Can You Help?
Please write to your United States Congress Person and Senator to request changes in the CPSIA to save handmade products. Use this sample letter from the Handmade Toy Alliance or write your own. You can find your Congress Person here and Senator here.
I sent my email letter off earlier this week...it's easy as pie and takes only minutes. If you love buying handmade products for family and friends like I do, please take a minute of your time to try to preserve the privilege that we are soon to lose in this country.