Toy Industry Association Calls for Postponement of Approaching CPSIA Implementation Date





Sunday February 15, 2009


Toy Industry Association Calls for Postponement of Approaching CPSIA Implementation Date

Toy Fair 2009

NEW YORK---The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) has joined with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and 65 other leading organizations and industry groups to call for the postponed enforcement of a law that could force many businesses to close and an untold number of safe toys and other children’s products to be destroyed. Products impacted by the law range from diapers to apparel and footwear to bicycles, books and more.

As adopted, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed by Congress and signed by President Bush last summer requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to begin enforcement of new lead and phthalate standards for children’s products on February 10, 2009.

TIA and its members have joined with representatives of a broad range of industries to argue that the arbitrary enforcement date put in the CPSIA should be changed because the very information needed for industry to comply with the Act’s requirements will not be available until after the deadline. As an example, a public comment period on proposed rules establishing what is required to meet the new lead limits closes on February 17, 2009; yet enforcement of those requirements is scheduled to go into effect the prior week.

CPSC’s interpretation of the CPSIA also requires that products already in inventory be tested to demonstrate compliance with the new standard for lead or they cannot be sold. Billions of dollars worth of inventory that may meet CPSIA requirements might have to be removed from shelves and placed in warehouses until the CPSC clarifies how the testing shall be conducted; only then can the tests be completed and the product back into commerce. In other cases, inventory that complied with the strict U.S. safety standards in place when the products were put into the marketplace may have to be destroyed because it does not comply with the new regulations.

TIA and the other groups signing the petition have requested that CPSC defer enforcement of the CPSIA’s new lead requirements for at least six months. Congress and the CPSC will then have the time needed to revisit the law and the implications of a retroactive enforcement.

“The toy industry vigorously supported adoption of the CPSIA, and TIA is fully prepared to help our members and stakeholders comply with implementation requirements that are practical and justifiable,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “But the federal requirements must be implemented in an effective and efficient manner or risk chaos in the marketplace and the loss of many safe products.

“The aggressive enforcement dates that are being imposed on children’s product industries even before the compliance requirements are determined are simply unwarranted,” Keithley added. “Many small and medium-sized companies could be pushed to the point of possible bankruptcy because they will be left holding billions of dollars in inventory that is now worthless, although it poses no safety threat to children.”

According to TIA estimates, the toy industry’s annual investment in toy safety assurance measures has more than doubled in the past two years, rising from $300 million in 2007 to $600 million in 2008. Much of this increase is attributed to duplicative testing requirements that have been layered on top of the tests that are already being called for by retailers and that are self-imposed by the manufacturers themselves.

TIA is developing a Toy Safety Certification ProgramSM (TSCP) that will provide an efficient and cost-effective mechanism for certified toy safety testing, helping to minimize redundant testing in the industry. The first components of the Program are currently in pilot tests, and the full Program is expected to be available by mid-2009.

About TIA

TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play. For more information, visit these TIA-sponsored websites:,, and





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