Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Am I really a manufacturer?

When I first mentioned the CPSIA to a couple of my friends who are attorneys and my attorney, their reactions were “But, you’re not a manufacturer”. So my initial reaction to hearing about the CPSIA back in November was, “Naaah, this doesn’t apply to me”. But I “heard” it does. So I started reading and researching and making phone calls to try to get information. Mostly I was looking for information telling me that this law didn't apply to me or that all the people out there talking about this were wrong.

Well, in case you haven’t heard, it does apply to me. And if you are a crafter of handmade children’s products, it applies to you too. My very first question for the Congressional Liaison at the CPSC was, “As an artisan/crafter, am I considered a manufacturer?” His answer was a resounding YES.

Here is how the CPSC defines manufacture: To manufacture, produce, or assemble

So based on that definition, I am most definitely a manufacturer. And I suppose I really always felt that I was, at least in terms of my nursery decor items. But I was surprised to have that label placed on me regarding my line of BuggApparel. After all, I'm just embellishing a pre-made blank garment. How can I be considered the manufacturer of that? But I am. And furthermore, the fact that I put my own label in that garment, makes me a private labeler.

But it's my opinion that there should be a distinct difference made between me and a company who manufactures mass-produced children's products. And as there currently isn't one, that is one of the things I am asking to see changed in any amendment or revision made to the CPSIA. Here are just a few of the changes I am requesting be brought to the attention of the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce:

>>>>I am asking for the consideration of reasonable exclusions to the testing and certification requirements for textiles and apparel to the extent that a component presents a risk that it contains lead. As such, proof of component compliance from a supplier should be acceptable for handmade products.

>>>>I would like artisans/crafters to have a different designation by the CPSC from “manufacturer” that will exempt handcrafted products that meet the criteria for reasonable exclusion from testing as stated above.

>>>>I would like to see adjustments for small business such as limits of production under which certification is not required. This could include reduced certification requirements without removal of the liability.

More on product testing soon, specifically, information on XRF testing costs that I’m currently researching. Tomorrow, a discussion on what counts as a children's product.

No comments: