CPSC Issues Guidance for Thrift Stores and Resale Shops Re: CPSIA Lead Law

By Beacon Staff

Earlier today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release to clarify their intent regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) as it relates to thrift stores, resale shops and the like.

If you are unfamiliar with the CPSIA, please refer to my earlier column on the Act and its potential to impact all small businesses, rather than just the manufacturers.

For the most part, this takes a huge pile of pressure off of the thrift/resale industry – which was faced with ceasing the sale of children’s products prior to issuance of these guidelines.

The full press release can be found here, but the operative text is this:

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties

Make note that thrift stores and resellers are not off the hook entirely, but that common sense changes were made to deal with a real world situation.

Children’s product manufacturers, craftspeople and retailers still need to see better handling of the testing requirements, particularly for one of a kind (OOAK) and small lot manufacturers so that it provides the safety necessary without putting requirements on them that will bankrupt them.