Craft Crackdown: Handmade Toys in Danger
A new law scheduled to go in effect February 10th may limit or prohibit many hand crafted toy makers to continue selling their products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will mandate intensive and expensive testing procedures for toys and clothing designed for children under the age of 12. The law is designed to look out for lead and other harmful substances in kids items, but the expense may be too much for small scale operations to bear. Its reported that such third party tests can run as high $50,000 which puts it out of reach for all but the biggest companies. Crafters and small businesses are up in arms trying to modify this law, which many say was rushed through congress. For more information, and to get involved, head over to Etsy and The Handmade Toy Alliance.
Charm City Craft Mafia explains:
Under the very important auspices of child safety, the Act may have grave unintended consequences: fewer choices for families who are looking for handcrafted alternatives. Many of your favorite local artists and craftspeople have expressed fears that they won’t be able stay in business due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation. The Handmade Toy Alliance is urging Congress to rewrite the CPSIA so that toys made in batches of less than 5,000 units per year or manufactured within the USA and trusted countries with established toy safety regimes such as Canada and the European Union be held exempt from third party testing requirements. Such toys could still be subject to random auditing by the CPSC but they are also asking that if testing should still be required, the CPSC should be made to offer free testing services for USA toymakers and importers from Europe or Canada with revenues less than one million dollars.