Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Save Handmade, Time is Running Out!

LONG but please read & feel free to copy onto your blog

As of February 10, 2009 - most, if not all what WE make and sell could very well become ILLEGAL TO SELL IN THE US.

This is not hyperbole, this is a FACT and a law that, unless something is changed, WILL AFFECT US ALL.

As a result, for those of us who create art dolls, there is a movement growing about removing them term "art dolls" from what we do - more specifically the word "dolls" - because if this law as it is currently written - ANYTHING that is geared or even possibly seen as being geared or made for children, will be required by law to be tested.
It is far reaching, and will affect EVERYTHING if it remains as it is written. (It will likely not get voted in as it is written, but we can HELP to see that it doesn't by speaking up about it and being aware that it exists).

If it is thought or implied or in any way able to be seen as a item meant or geared for children, it will be REQUIRED BY LAW to be tested and be certified as passing the test to be legal to be sold in the US, including everything that is used to make the item. EVERYTHING!

In addition, unless the items that we use to make the item come from the same batch lot they have to be tested individually, and not as a batch.

It's a HUGE thing on Etsy right now.

***As taken from a post by marionscott77**

Here is a quote from the Certificates of Compliance "The Commission is also designating the domestic manufacturer as the sole entity that must issue the certificate required by section 14 (a) in the case of a domestically produced product. This certificate must be available to the Commission upon request before the product or shipment is introduced into domestic commerce."WE are domestic manufacturers. Doesn't matter if we do wholesale, resale, direct or whatever. We are still the manufacturers. WE must be able to provide certification of compliance with lead testing by Feb 10th or pull our products off the market. This certification can ONLY come from a CPSC-certified third-party laboratory. All substrates of your products in all iterations must be tested (and yes, fabric is a substrate).

Read this entire thread here:

We need to come together, even though we are NOT creating "toys" - this WILL have an umbrella affect on us.

Taken from

It's Not just Toys! The CPSIA does not just affect toys--it regulates all products for children under 12.? Clothing, school supplies, cloth diapers, car seats, boy scout patches, bicycles, sippy cups - everything!

Congress in its wisdom decided that a problem caused by irresponsible mass-market toymakers should be solved with a one-size-fits-all solution for dozens of industries totally unrelated to toys.

The Handmade Toy Alliance supports the parallel efforts of other industries to gain relief from the onerous enforcement mechanisms imposed by the CPSIA. Although we have proposed our own ideas that would help small toymakers, we believe that the following reforms of the CPSIA would be fair, just and appropriate to all affected industries:

**** The law should be scaled back to focus on products that were an issue in the first place (namely: toys and children's jewelry).****

Enforcement should allow component versus unit testing.? Manufacturers and/or industry groups, in cooperation with the CPSC, should decide the most rational method for their situation.

**** Testing frequency rules should be adjusted to allow smaller companies that deal with smaller runs, the ability to stay in business.****

Random testing could be part of the legislation in place of some of the more burdensome requirements, especially for "low volume" companies.

**** Companies should be allowed to keep testing certificates on file instead of re-sending them with each order.**** The law should be simplified to be understandable, while maintaining (or improving) its effectiveness.

**** Batch Labeling should be required only for companies producing more than a certain quantity.


This will affect how you sell what you make anywhere - online, garage sale, flea market, etc.
Here are Etsy's new rules regarding this:

When each seller signs up to sell on Etsy, they agree to these terms and are each responsible for their own items. From the TOU:"Restricted Activities: Your Content and your use of Etsy shall not:
# 5. Contain items that have been identified by the U.S. Consumer Products SafetyCommission (CPSC) as hazardous to consumers and therefore subject to a recall.

Let's get this spreading through our mailing lists and discussion groups and start getting INVOLVED as a group to help CHANGE this. Let's get talking about this and protecting ourselves and our art and our businesses.

One thing that we CAN do to IMMEDIATELY protect ourselves might be to immediately cease using the terms "dolls" or "toys" with our artwork. That one term alone might be enough to cause our work to seem as if it is meant for kids - even if you use a disclaimer saying "Not intended for children." And if you post in the "Dolls and Bears" or maybe "Toys" or "Children's"categories, maybe you might want to reconsider that right now.

Copied with permission from VARIETIST MUSE

1 comment:

Kath said...

Happy new Year Ellen, thankyou for your delightful NY wish message. I am so glad you talked about this, I had no idea. I guess it's a case of "watch this space" love Kath in England