Saturday, January 24, 2009

Killing Uniqueness

Clip earring findings
Large clip earringsMedium clip earringssmall clip on earringsclip earrings for kids, girls
February will be a sad month for many small businesses. On February 10, 2009 something will change.

What, you ask? If you are a regular consumer, you may not yet be aware of the upcoming changes that will affect your purchasing decisions of children's products. As a consumer it is your right to know. Here are the briefings:

In August 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CSIA law) to significantly decrease the amount of lead that is permitted in ALL children’s items sold in the USA. This law will mandate that a 3rd Party tests all the items and components of a product sold in the United States and it will require tracking for these products. This law will go into effect on February 10, 2009.

What is the reason for the law? This law was made after the investigation of repeated measurements of recalled toys, mainly imported from China, that exceeded acceptable lead-content levels, harming children.

But this is a good thing you say! Yes it is. Protection of our children from harmful and potential chemicals is a major concern of every parent.

Then what is wrong? Well, the current Congress rule is too broad. It has failed to target the source of the problem and tackle the situation from those sources. This law will affect everyone: Large multinational
Manufacturers as well as the small and micro businesses need to comply with costly testing for all the children's products they offer. The requirements to comply with the testing costs required by this law can be incremental and in many cases it will be very difficult for the smaller businesses to comply.

What testing is required? Businesses providing Children’s items (12 years old and under), must provide testing certification of a piece made in every batch that is produced, this certification must be made of every single component used in the final product. If the size and/or the color of the product changes, new testing is required. (For example, let's say I make a child's pair of earrings: I'd need to send it to an authorized Lab in the US to have it tested , this could cost $350 to $1500 for lead to obtain the certificate needed so I could sell. Now if I decided to make the exact design of earrings but in a different color, or maybe with slightly larger beads, I would have to repeat the same testing process). Yes, Depending on the type and number of components, testing could run from $350 to $1500 for a single product of a single batch. To make things more complicated, the testing could be intrusive and therefore it could destroy the product themselves, making one-of-a-kind products harder to comply. This type of requirement could easily drive small businesses no other option but to close their stores, or discontinue their line of products.

What type of items are affected: All children items that are targeted and promoted to children of 12 years and under. This includes: Toys, clothing, jewelry, books, fashion accessories, blankets, housewares, room-decor, art supplies, bicycles and more.

What are the consequences of this Law? As of February 10 2009 it will no longer be legal to sell children's products without certification of testing. It is sad that many children will not be able to enjoy the beautiful array of uniquely designed items that millions of local hand-crafters produce, items made with dedication and love. Without the costly certifications, these items will be considered illegal.

At Crazy4clipons we do not agree with the broadness and the requirements of this law, but we respect it and we are complying. Being unable to provide the necessary testing for each component of our children’s line of earrings, the Kids product line at Crazy4clipons will be closed as of Feb 01, 2009.

Children's earrings will not be available for sale and our line of jewelry will only be available to customers 13 year or older.

Resources for more information:

1 comment:

Elena Adams said...

I had no idea the new laws were so aggressive. Either no one considered small businesses, or we simply don't have big enough lawyers/lobbyists on our side.
Such a shame; and after a quick glance at Etsy, I wonder how many people actually know about this law.