Last week it looked like the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act might put an end to thrift stores, consignment stores, and home crafters who specialized in children’s products.
Then the Consumer Product Safety Commission attempted to calm the public outrage. Their press release, with the bloated title of “Requirements of New Children’s Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in February; Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children’s Products, Thrift and Consignment Stores,” was supposed to clarify the confusing new law. Instead it left many more important questions still unanswered.
Although the clarification does state that resale stores can continue to sell children’s toys and clothing without being required to test each individual product for lead, the Commission’s statement warns that the penalties are high for selling children’s products that do contain lead… and that violators will face strict penalties. A reprieve of sorts, but it still sounds a lot like a no-win situation, doesn’t it?
The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories. Among these are recalled children’s products, particularly cribs and play yards; children’s products that may contain lead, such as children’s jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children.
–press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, January 8, 2009
There were no clarifications or reassurances for the handcrafters and small businesses selling new items on a small scale, or for the people selling used children’s toys, books, and clothing online. The public anger isn’t going to go away on this issue. Look for more clarifying press releases coming soon…
To read more:
- Resellers breathe sigh of relief after lead-testing law is eased; secondhand stores won’t have to check all items for children
- Consumers, shop owners breathe big sigh of relief
- Lead rule weighs on kids’ clothiers
- Resellers spared lead tests for toys
- Consignment, thrift store owners questioning lead law standards
- Safety law has consignment store owners and sellers of homemade baby items concerned
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Resale shops are spared...for the time being
This was posted at Choosing Voluntary Simplicity...and I just got around to reading. Doesn't really give a breath of relief to folks like Etsy, EBay or even simple folks like us with yard sales and such, but maybe it's a small bit of common sense coming around (yeah, well, I don't really think so either, but I'm trying to be Mary Sunshine here...)
Shared in Love by Mrs Dewey Smith
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
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