Thursday, May 14, 2009

How CPSIA Effects Small Businesses 7 - 11

I watched the next 5 videos of the Briefing:

Briefing #7: Mr. Thompson says to Nord: You have “a commonsense attitude with this, which is refreshing in this town.” However the problems I am hearing from small biz are the testing of components with no lead and labeling requirements.

Nord: “Permanent tracking labels required by law to go on all children’s products in August, “to extent practicable”. We want to be focusing on products that are dangerous and have history of recalls – not others—but can’t distinguish under law.

#8: Just an announcement that they were adjourning the meeting until 11:30, and thanking Nancy Nord for coming.

#9 Miss Shriver, Lucy’s Pockets (children’s clothing and other children’s products): “As CPSIA now stands, I as well as thousands of crafters, seamstresses, artists and others that market safe handmade items for kids will be put out of business….We are looking to you to make legislative changes that will allow us that have been making safe products to continue to do so.”

Miss Shriver went on to give several example of testing costs she has investigated: $900 - $1275 to test one $20 bib set; $300 to test a $5 bow; and $675 to test a $9 head band…And because items are one of a kind, cannot do batch testing.

If the testing requirements do not put businesses like her out of business, the labeling requirements will. “We use safe materials and make safe products…We are asking for Common Sense in the Law! We’re safe – we want to be legal.”

And Miss Shriver’s final comment is “CPSIA is going to absolutely kill the Handmade Industry and the ramifications are beyond definition.”

Video #10, Mr. Thompson introduces one of his constituents, Mrs. Susie Lang, of Starbright Baby Teething Giraffes. “As the mother of a 2-year-old, I admire Congress efforts to draft a law that protects children from excessive amounts of lead in toys.” Mrs. Lang went on to explain that the major problems with the law for her business include the unit testing requirements and the labeling requirements, and “the fallacy of assuming that everything is toxic until proven safe.” She went on to share what the testing costs would be for her, and exclaimed, “I don’t know how it can be done by any crafter or small business.”

Video #11 The Director of Once Upon a Child Stores, representing over 500 franchises, and over 5,000 employees – who are scrambling to figure out how to comply. “The ill executed implementation of this legislation has brought fear into the industry…The handbook is too general to determine what is safe to sell…only way to be sure would be to test each product…We need to know specifically what items are deemed unsafe for our children.”

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