Here is the deal... (copied from Charm City Craft Mafia)
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which will go into effect on February 10th, 2009, puts forth much more stringent safety measures for products intended for children under the age of 12. Under the very important auspices of child safety, the Act may have grave unintended consequences: fewer choices for families who are looking for handcrafted alternatives. Many of your favorite local artists and craftspeople have expressed fears that they won’t be able stay in business due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation. The Handmade Toy Alliance is urging Congress to rewrite the CPSIA so that toys made in batches of less than 5,000 units per year or manufactured within the USA and trusted countries with established toy safety regimes such as Canada and the European Union be held exempt from third party testing requirements. Such toys could still be subject to random auditing by the CPSC but they are also asking that if testing should still be required, the CPSC should be made to offer free testing services for USA toymakers and importers from Europe or Canada with revenues less than one million dollars.
The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.
If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered.
Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance to learn more about the issues and how you can help by just sending a letter to your Representative or Senator. The Storque also has drafted an open letter regarding the CPSIA. As a venue for handcrafted and vintage items from small entrepreneurs, Etsy has invited the Ombudsman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to join the community in a webchat in their Virtual Lab.