Saturday, April 10, 2010

CPSIA - CPSIA Casualty of the Week for April 9

The Alliance for Children's Product Safety's "CPSIA Casualty of the Week" highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.

Congress and the CPSC need to address the problems with CPSIA implementation to help small businesses by restoring "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws.

CPSIA Casualty of the Week for April 9, 2010


The approximately 1,500 businesses that comprise the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) are dedicated to providing educational supplies, equipment and instructional materials to schools, parents, and teachers. This small industry serves a vitally important market – American schools – providing specialized products that form the backbone of the American educational system. Without the support of this small business-dominated industry, the needs of many American children would be left unmet, including children with disabilities and special learning needs.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) has had a negative effect on nearly every NSSEA member company, says a recent NSSEA survey of manufacturers/suppliers and dealers.

According to the findings, 64% of surveyed NSSEA suppliers, and almost half of the dealers (46%), have been negatively affected by CPSIA regulations. About 47% of dealers surveyed have removed items from inventory, and 40% of manufacturers have either removed items or discontinued production. Almost 80% have incurred additional testing costs. Unfortunately, all this expense and disruption has served no purpose - the CPSIA has imposed economic turmoil on an industry that has a great safety record. Recalled educational products have been responsible for a total of three reported injuries in the last ten years, one from an overheating battery compartment and two relating to a defective hinge on a changing table.

A NSSEA manufacturer wrote, "We have been forced to discontinue safe products because the testing costs have not justified keeping them in the line. This has had a very negative impact on our bottom line by destroying very good and safe product. Teachers who have been using these products for decades will not have access to them anymore. Going forward, we will not be able to develop niche products that are specific to education because the testing costs will not justify anything with low sales."

"From delayed orders to confusion regarding the requirements, members have been left with eroding margin, increased labeling and testing expenses, and a decrease of education products available to the marketplace," wrote NSSEA Vice President Adrienne Dayton in a recent association newsletter.

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