Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HTA Press Release: "We strongly urge both sides to work through their differences and move forward on this important reform of the CPSIA"

The Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA) testified on April 29th at the House Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee hearing regarding the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act (CPSEA). HTA Founder and Vice President, Dan Marshall (Peapods Natural Toys -MN), Board member Jolie Fay (Skipping Hippos – OR) and Board member Randy Hertzler (euroSource – PA) traveled to DC to participate in this very important process.


“The HTA has endorsed the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act”, Marshall stated during his testimony before the Sub-Committee. “The provisions of the bill which allow alternative testing methods for small batch manufacturers are imperative to the survival of our members.” Marshall went on to share various aspects of report language that would further serve to clarify Congress’ intentions with the amendment.


In the few days since the hearing, however, Democrats and Republicans on the committee have signaled that they might not be willing to negotiate a bipartisan bill. “We strongly urge both sides to work through their differences and move forward on this important reform of the CPSIA,” said Jill Chuckas (Crafty Baby -CT), HTA Secretary. “The livelihoods of thousands of families hang in the balance.”

In addition to testimony from the HTA, the Sub-Committee heard from representatives from Goodwill Industries, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), American Apparel and Footwear (AAFA), Motorcycle Industries, Consumers Federation of America (CFA) and Rick Woldenberg (Chairman, Learning Resources).

Following opening statements, there was a question and answer period which focused around the difficulties of small batch manufacturers and specialty retailers to understand and comply with the CPSIA. “We were pleased to hear a series of questions surrounding harmonization with EN-71 which is of special concern to those in our membership who import product directly from the European Union,” stated Hertzler. “Dan (Marshall) had the opportunity to discuss this issue in depth.”

HTA Board members also had the opportunity to visit with many of the House Committee members, as well as a number of members of the Senate Commerce Committee. “It was an incredibly busy few days, squeezing in as many legislative visits as possible,” Fay shared. Marshall added “Our focus was to share the HTA story and collective concerns with a large number of Congressional members, furthering our efforts to provide relief to small batch manufacturers, crafters and specialty retailers. It has been clear from the beginning that we were not the intended targets of this legislation, but unfortunately, our members have the most to lose. It is time to remedy these unintended consequences of the CPSIA.”

The House Sub-committee will now decide whether or not to move forward with mark up and presentation of the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act (CPSEA), as the bill has been named, to the House floor. “Our focus now is to help this process proceed quickly,” Marshall continued. “It has been a very long road to common sense changes to the CPSIA. The Subcommittee members now need to openly discuss this bill, come to an agreement and move forward. The time for waiting is over. Congress needs to move swiftly to fix the issues with the CPSIA.”

2 comments:

  1. I would like to know which is safer....a handmade baby sweater with cute baby buttons made by a gramma and sold at a craft fair for $20.00 or a handmade baby sweater with cute baby buttons made by a gramma and given to her grandbaby as a gift? What makes one safer than the other, a price tag? I think there should be a production limit before testing is imposed. Crafters who make less than 500 items of a particular children's item per year and employ less than 5 or 6 employees should be exempt from testing, certification, record keeping, etc.

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  2. Thanks for your comment Mary B. This has been a large part of our discussion with the House Commerce Committee. The current draft amendment does have an exemption protocol that small business can apply for. Companies that make less than 7500 units of a particular product in a given year, make less than $50,000 gross revenue for that product in a given year, and make less than $1 million in total gross revenue in a given year are eligible to apply for an exemption through the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This bill, though, needs to be brought to committee and passed.
    Jill Chuckas
    Secretary, HTA

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