Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The countdown to the new CPSC law

Word is spreading as we are in the countdown, so you might have heard already. There is a new law that was signed back in November of 2008 that was written with the best of intentions, but could seriously harm many small businesses. The law requires component testing for lead and phalates. Only resale stores such as consignments and thrift shops are exempt from the testing, but they could get in serious trouble if they sell something that has either of those two items in it.

Unfortunately the testing that is required is expensive, and items made for children 12 and under are assumed to have these unless otherwise proven. The problem with this is that there are many items that by their nature are free of lead and phalates, but unless they are tested, they will be considered illegal. Get caught selling items that haven't been tested, or don't have a certificate and face a fine and potential jail time.

Now mind you, big retailers are coming together to try and get certain items exempt, such as fabric, and yarn, wood, but unless something is done. Many work at home parents (wahp from this point on) will be going out of business.

I personally may have to restructure my business. Instead of selling childrens clothing and diapers, like I have loved doing for the past year, I may have to change to making things for older children and adults, or else pay at minimum $75 per component to have things tested (to give you an idea, my diapers generally consist of 5 layers of fabric, touch tape, and elastic, so that is a lot of money). A dress would require anywhere from 3-5 componenets tested.

So to sum this up, many wahp just can't afford cost like this and will be closing up shop, unless changes are made to the law. The law really was designed with the best of intentions, but it was poorly written, and not very well thought out.

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