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FAQs - What is the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act?

Handmade Crafts - Sold or Donated Are Now Tightly Regulated by Federal Law

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On February 10 2009, a law that has an adverse economic impact on crafters and artisans went into effect. Although the law will not be enforced until February 10, 2010, but you must comply now.

What is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act?

In an effort to close loopholes and strengthen safety standards on mass-produced toys, clothes, and accessories made in China (and to ban toxins including phthalates and lead), Congress has passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act.

But the new, wide-sweeping law not only targets big companies, but will also have a severe impact on small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and home-based crafters. The Act requires anyone that sells or donates handmade crafts, toys, and other items to have their wares independently tested to ensure that there are no toxic chemicals in their wares.

Why Should You Care?

Do you use metallic threads in your clothing or cross-stitch projects? Any kind of paint? Buttons? Zippers, or beads and rhinestones in your craft projects?

If so, the Federal government now requires you to pay for expensive third-party testing before you can sell (or donate) your crafts if they are intended for use by children age 12 and under.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

"The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is a sweeping new law that impacts a broad spectrum of our economy. From manufacturers of toys to the kids that play with them, everyone is affected in some way; even those who make and donate products to hospitals and charities."

The publication further states:

"There are new rules to be understood and adopted for everyone from the largest global manufacturer to the crafter working in the family workshop to the mom-and-pop shop on the corner."

The Act's Definition of a Manufacturer

"Anyone who makes, produces or assembles a product is considered to be a manufacturer."

If you knit, sew, or otherwise handcraft any item - even glue beads to a store-bought t-shirt, or make your own jewelry, you are now considered a manufacturer under Federal law and must comply with certain (often ridiculous) standards.

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