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#483194 01/08/09 12:11 PM
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Amoeba
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Amoeba
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There is a new law, the "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" that is about to go into effect. This could put home based business, especially the ones selling handmade items out of business.

This law will require ALL components of every item manufactured be tested and certified as a safe product. Every business will have to have these certifications available to prover the item was tested and safe, or risk huge fines and penalties.

This new law is confusing and while it is said that there is an exemption for one of a kind handmade items, what about the crafter who makes a few of each item to sell?

I have read the act and interpret as speaking almost exclusively of manufactured items intended for use by children under the age of 12. Art items are never mentioned in the 64 page document, and it refers consistently to children's items.

What do you think?

I will keep this forum updated as I get new information. Please post if you have any further information on this issue.

For more information you can read the act itself at Consumer Safety Improvement Act

You can read the article I wrote on this subject at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art60231.asp

Last edited by Sarah Roop; 01/08/09 10:17 PM.
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Wouldn't there be a difference between "manufactured" and "handcrafted" items? Handcrafted items are by definition one-of-a-kind even though a group of them may look similar.
I think the intent of the law is to protect against things made in factories that have no quality control over their suppliers. (Think "Chinese toys covered with lead based paints")
I seriously doubt that inspectors will be scouring the aisles in church bazaars and knocking at the doors of crafter's homes.
On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to make a good-faith effort to find out if the supplies we use have been tested by their manufacturers.

I was a potter for many years, and my customers would be justly concerned that my pottery might contain lead. I had stickers made up that said the pottery was lead free, and if anyone questioned that I assured them that I didn't want to have any lead in my studio for my own good health as well as that of my customers! Most pottery supply houses label their materials so it is easy to find out if they contain anything objectionable.

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I am concerned about the dolls I make (cloth dolls) and my ability to begin selling them. The dolls I make are not meant for childrens toys. They will hopefully be collector's items and I plan on stating that "not intended for children's toys" or something like that. The dolls are meant to be displayed in a collection case.

I will have to read the "law" to see how this will affect me. What do you think, Sarah?


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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Amoeba
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Amoeba
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I think that handcrafted items will still be okay to sell, the dolls being not meant as children's toys as well. Just be sure you state that on the tags. There is an exception for one of a kind items and quite possibly all handcrafted items, and as soon as I can find a reliable source for this information, I will post that here as well.

As far as "manufactured" and "handcrafted" being different things, I am in total agreement with you as to my understanding of those definitions and that as long as they are truly handmade they will be one of a kind.

I did make sure that I read the act after several sites for both crafters as well as news agencies reported on this and it does seem to me that it is being misconstrued. I, however, am not a lawyer, and although it does seem pretty cut and dried to me as a crafter, if you have any real concerns you may want to consult one. That being said I am comfortable continuing to sell my items as before and without losing any sleep over this matter whatsoever.

Most crafters and artists I know are incredibly conscientious about their merchandise as it is, and it seems that the only problem there is, is mostly because of foreign manufacture. There are exceptions to every rule, but as far as I can tell, with few exceptions a good rule of thumb is "Buy American!" (ok, getting off my soapbox now...)

Keep checking back, there will be more news concerning this, and I will keep you informed.



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Thanks, Sarah - that eases my mind some. I will continue to keep up on this and thoroughly read any updates.


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I sell origami and I state clearly on all the mobile pages that they are NOT for use over cribs because they have small beads. I state that in many places. I worry that some parent will buy one and hang it where a small child can grab at it. I try to make that information as clear as possible, but you never know which one person will not bother to read it, buy a mobile, give it to a child to play with and then blame me for selling the mobile to them. We live in a very litigious society and it's unnerving that one person can destroy your life.


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Amoeba
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OK, here's the updated information I have straight from the horses mouth so far on CPSIA.According to section 108:

Any determination as to whether a particular product is designed and intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger, would be made on a case by case basis after consideration of the following factors:

A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such statement is reasonable.

Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion or advertising as appropriate for use by the ages specified.

Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child of the ages specified.

The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002, and any successor to such guidelines.

A manufacturer must apply these factors their products and then consider whether it is �for use by the child when the child plays� to determine whether a product meets the definition of a children�s toy. The use of the product by the child for play is a fundamental aspect of such a determination. The Commission will be evaluating this using staff from Health Sciences, Human Factors, and Compliance, and hopes to provide additional guidance on this issue. In the interim, the Commission staff plans to use the definition of toy in the ASTM F963-07 toy standard for guidance.


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OK that's good to know. I state clearly that this is NOT meant for kids and it has small parts. I don't have any promo words or photos or anything that indicates kids should get these items.

I guess we can only do the best we can do!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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