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CPSIA Update from Heather Flottman

February 13th, 2009

Article by: Heather Flottman
liliputians NYC

Several new developments have come about on the CPSIA front since the last Boutique Café article on this topic. Here’s a quick summary.

1) On 2/4/09 Senators Jim DeMint of SC, Roger Wicker of MS and Saxby Chambliss of GA, and David Vitter of LA introduced bill S.374 to the Senate where it was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. This bill would amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses. On 2/11/09 Senators Sam Brownback of KS, Tom Coburn of OK, Mike Crapo of ID and James Inhofe of OK cosponsored the bill also. Call (202-224-3121), email, fax and write your Senator to let them know you support this amendment.

2) On 2/11/09 Rep. John Shadegg of AZ and co-sponsor Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of MD introduced bill H.R. 968 to Congress where it was read twice and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This bill is identical to Sen. Demint’s in wording to amend the CPSIA, providing relief for America’s small businesses. Call, email, fax and write your Representative to let them know you support this amendment.

3) On 2/10/09 CPSC posted Guidance on CPSIA for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters and Charities. Although this obviously was needed months ago, it is still welcome information and summarizes the legislation in understandable terms. ALL sellers, resellers, retailers, and manufacturers would do themselves a favor by reading this guide. Table B is of particular interest, listing materials, which are exempt from testing (hopefully a permanent ruling) such as dyed and undyed yarns and fabrics.

4) The Stay of Enforcement remains . . . for now. Activist consumer groups NRDC and Public Citizen are rumored to be filing a lawsuit to get it overturned.

So keep up the fight. CPSIA is not going to go away and we need to ensure that small business and micro manufacturers can survive this legislation.

Breathe Easy . . . and Then Call Your Representatives

January 31st, 2009

Article by: Heather Flottman
liliputians NYC

As you have probably already read (perhaps here on Boutique Café ) the CPSC has granted a 1 year stay of testing and certification (an excerpt from the press release is in italics below).

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.
Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

However, this issue is NOT over. Stop. Take a breath. Pat yourself on the back. Know that you’ll still be able to continue selling custom outfits, hair bows, or whatever product you create come February 10th. And then regroup.

It is crucial that momentum is not lost. Hope is very near with Senator Jim DeMint of SC (one of the 3 in the Senate who voted “nay” against this along with Senator Jon Kyl and Senator Thomas Coburn) introducing legislation to reform CPSIA. Call, email or write Senator DeMint and tell him “thank you.” Call your senators and tell them you support this. Let common sense prevail.

Keep the heat on Congressman Waxman and other members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Email them. Call (202-225-2927) and let them know that CPSIA needs to be amended. Let them know you support the 6 points presented by Senator Demint. Keep up the fight and save handmade.

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