It’s time to get all activism on ya. Imagine just getting a seat of your favorite 3D CAD software with plans to create some sweet kids products.

Imagine being a small toy manufacturer, a hobby woodworker that sells wooden kid’s toys online, or somebody that makes cool robot dolls. In Feburary of 2009, you will have to shut down or break the law.

Why? Read on.


Because of the 2007 lead scare from imported Chinese-made products, the US Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that introduces mandatory testing and labeling of certain products manufactured for children.

On February 10th, 2009, the testing becomes mandatory. That day has become known as National Bankruptcy Day. Wanna change things. Here’s how.

How You can Help:

Update: There is also a petition related directly to apparel and textile goods

Affects already seen
An excellent German Toy manufacturer was one of the first affected. Selecta Spielzeug has pulled distribution to the US because of requirements imposed by CPSIA.

From the Hadmade Toy Alliance

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.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.

For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

* A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
* A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
* A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
* And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public’s trust: Toys made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered.

More Info:

Toy Association Summary of CPSIA
Hadmade Toy Alliance
National Bankruptcy Day

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.