Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CPSIA - Who Will Stop the Insanity?

Does anyone in Congress give a darn about how their laws affect those of us in the real world? Given that it seems clear that they don't read the laws they vote for, and seem to prefer a good sound bite to listening or helping on real problems, I think the answer must be "no".

In the case of the noxious CPSIA, a recurrent theme in this blog and elsewhere is that the marketplace is going wild trying to anticipate the ridiculous strictures of the new law, regardless of how pointless, and that massive losses are resulting from the marketplace dislocations. This has been documented again and again, yet Congress refuses to face up to the damage being done.
A nice example of this effect is in the latest missive from Toys R Us. TRU has been a market leader in enthusiastically exceeding the CPSIA in strictures with no negotiation or seeming concern about impact on the marketplace. Today's announcement reads as follows (in part):

"1. Lead in Substrates

In our previous communications, we informed you that all products shipped to Toys “R”Us must meet our requirement of 300ppm for lead in substrate materials (Please note that lower levels are required for PVC, jewelry and other items). However, according to the CPSIA, that limit will be reduced to 100ppm on August 14, 2011, unless the CPSC determines that this is not technologically feasible.

In anticipation of this change, we will be tightening our requirements to 100ppm maximum lead in substrates, as of January 1, 2010 ."

So at TRU, the judgment has been made - 100 ppm is a done deal, and will now become the rule at TRU as of January 1. At least we have six months' notice so we can prepare for losing them as a customer.

Thanks Congress. Everyone is so safe now! Wow, what a wonderful feeling.

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