CPSIA: If you make kid’s products, you MUST do this TODAY

Amended 1/6/2012: Please see the most recent post on this topic for updated information, particularly if you experienced difficulty after complying with these instructions.
This is important stuff. First of all, as much as it pains me to repeat myself, today is not the day to wrangle with semantics or diction. The term “manufacturer” is a legal designation. A Federal Legal Designation. Regardless of how you prefer to describe your business entity, you are a manufacturer even if you pay somebody else to sew things up for you.

Okay, with that out of the way, if you are a manufacturer of children’s products and produce in small batches, it is critical that you register for a small batch exemption if your sales are less than 1 million dollars from the previous calender year and you have manufactured less than 7,500 qualifying (children’s products) units. Registering for an exemption will exempt you from third party testing requirements under CPSIA. I realize that most apparel products were granted broad exemptions already but this will help you in the event your items include non-exempt components. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is just a testing exemption, you are still required to comply with standards defined under the CPSIA law.

What a minute -if you have no idea what I’m talking about, see the CPSIA category on this site. There is also a publicly accessible CPSIA section in our forum. However, since you have a lot of catching up to do, I suggest you register first (today!) and figure out what it means later.

This is a two step process. Part one is to register your business which will get you an account user ID if you don’t already have one. It is pretty straightforward. And by the way, I don’t manufacture kid’s products but I registered anyway. What can it hurt? Who knows, I might start making kid’s stuff some time this year. If it is possible you might, you should consider registering too. There is no downside; the section on your brand (name, history etc) is voluntary and you can skip that whole page. Good thing since I don’t have one.

After you request the business ID, you’ll get an email saying that the CPSC is overwhelmed with applicants but they’ve got you in the queue and will get back to you as soon as they can. This may take 12 hours, maybe more. Once they get back to you, you will need to confirm the registration by activating your account by creating a password. You may hit a snag at this point if you’re using the wrong username -say, your company name. The username was created at sign up and consists of your first and last name. Once you’ve activated your account, you can sign up as a small batch manufacturer. This is also fairly straightforward.

Again, if you register for a small batch exemption, you are exempt from third party testing requirements but you are not exempt from following the standards. You can visit the CPSC page for more information but most apparel producers fall in Group B (lower right side bar of the page). The standards that concern most of us are children’s sleepwear (16 CFR §1615 & §1616) and wearing apparel (16 CFR §1610).  Sleepwear continues to be a collective thorn-in-side; most recently we debated the sizing standards for sleepwear with no respite in spite of our objections. Not that we expected any but that’s a whole other story.

Related: See this post if you’ve had problems registering or were not able to make the deadline.

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16 Comments on "CPSIA: If you make kid’s products, you MUST do this TODAY"

3 years 4 months ago

I don’t understand the purpose of your comment Angela. Other than that it has nothing to do with this topic, it appears to be intended as a marketing message only you don’t mention what your product is. This site is business to business focused; how to make and sell sewn products. If you want to drum up interest in your unnamed item, consumer centric sites are a much better bet. Here we promote information about machines, software, services, books etc but not any given designer’s finished product.

3 years 4 months ago

I have a get idea for children of all ages: with ADHD, blind, deaf, wheelchair bound, bed bound from new born to the kid at heart. This product is so great even your grandparents, single parent, college student and others can use it.
I am a childcare provider with over 20 years experience. Parents on the go: parks, sports events, weddings, funerals, planes and long road trips. Your child will be content. No batteries, plugs or fuss. Light weight, fun colors, textures and no smell. Loveable, hugable, washable and water proof.

3 years 5 months ago

when having items tested, does each item in the batch need testing or just one item (since they would be all made with identical products i.e. same fabric, same thread etc.

3 years 6 months ago

The only think I was trying to say is that the exemption does not exempt you from testing and that is what it sounded like you were saying.

Twice in this post I say specifically that one is not exempt from the law, that one’s products must comply -the implication being that there must be some process whereby one can ascertain such. In the case of small batch producers, it is possible to gain an exemption (the entire purpose of this post) which would allow one to use their supplier’s certifications. Likewise, it wasn’t intended to be a redux of the legislation’s requirements (to whit, your mention of GCC) which we’ve belabored in the past -for the sake of brevity, links were provided.

I just want to put a list of the items that registering exempts you from. This is right off the CPSIA’s site.

Again, for the sake of brevity, I linked to the specific segment that you copied and pasted into your comment.

3 years 6 months ago

Sorry for all the typos in the previous, it’s late. I just want to put a list of the items that registering exempts you from. This is right off the CPSIA’s site. Notice at the bottom it says you still have to provide a general certificate of conformity (GCC). A GCC must have on it where and when the product was tested so it must be tested. If it is tested before it gets to you, and you get a GCC with it then you need to take that GCC and make your own GCC to pass on to the end user. All I was saying in my first post is that there isn’t really much, if any difference as to what you have to do to comply weather you register or not.
From the CPSIA site:
Qualifying small batch manufacturers registered with the Commission are NOT required to third party test for the following children’s product safety rules (Group B):

•ASTM F963-08 Toy Safety Standard;
•Total Lead Content in Children’s Products, Sec. 101 of the CPSIA;
•Ban on certain phthalates in children’s toys and certain child care articles, Sec. 108 of the CPSIA;
•Bicycle helmets, 16 CFR §1203;
•Bunk beds, 16 CFR §1213 and 1513;
•Rattles, 16 CFR §1510;
•Dive sticks, 16 CFR §1500.86 (pdf);
•Bicycles, 16 CFR §1512;
•Carpets and rugs, 16 CFR §1630 and §1631;
•Vinyl plastic film, 16 CFR §1611;
•Wearing apparel, 16 CFR §1610;
•Clacker balls, 16 CFR §1500.86 (pdf);
•Children’s sleepwear, 16 CFR §1615 and §1616;
•Electronically operated toys, 16 CFR §1505;
•ATVs, 16 CFR. §1420; and
•Mattresses, 16 CFR §1632.

With respect to Group B, qualifying small batch manufacturers will need to ensure that the products comply with those regulations and issue a general certificate of conformity (GCC).