Updated Toy Safety Standard Requires Additional Testing

As of June 12, 2012, manufacturers and importers of children’s toys must comply with updated Federal Toy Safety Standards. Third-party testing to the updated standards will be required after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) publishes rules for third-party laboratories, which is expected in 2013.

Among the changes to toy testing procedure, the updated toy safety standard revised heavy metal requirements as follows:

  • New limits for the soluble amount of eight metals: antimony, arsenic, lead, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury and selenium
  • New extractable cadmium requirement added for metal components that fit within the small parts cylinder

Companies that manufacture or import children’s toys will need to comply with these new standards and include documentation of compliance in all conformity certificates. A children’s toy is defined as a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer for a child 12 years of age or younger for use by the child when the child plays.

Businesses that distribute promotional products must be able to provide documentation of compliance to clients and the CPSC upon request. While third-party testing is not expected to be required until 2013, they will need to verify compliance to the updated standard. In many cases, this will mean working with a testing lab partner to begin tests to the new standards. Because distributors are often the only point of contact for clients, they serve as the link between the product, the buyer’s intent for the program and the manufacturing of the product. Many of these regulations apply to products based on the intended audience. Distributors have an obligation to determine the product’s intended audience and share this information with the importer, decorator or manufacturer. Review Product Safety: Ask & Answer to find a list of questions to ask a client and the supplier.

Some manufacturers in the promotional products industry may qualify for relief from third-party testing to ASTM F963-11 when it becomes required. A company may be considered a small-batch manufacturer if it reports total gross revenues of $1 million or less from the sale of all consumer products and manufactures no more than 7,500 units of the tested product in the previous calendar year. For the list of exempted standards, visit the CPSC online. Small-batch manufacturers can now register online with the CPSC.

If you have questions or need more information, visit PPAI online.

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