Government Bans Sale of Used Children’s Clothing and Toys !?!

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January 9th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

(Click here for our complete coverage of CPSIA.)

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 14, 2008. Starting February 10, 2009, the law bans the sale or resale of products for children age 12 or under that have not been tested to show they contain less than 600ppm of lead and less than 0.1% of certain phthalates (a plastic softener). The law includes plans to move to a 100ppm limit later and force vendors to accept returns of products sold after February 10, 2009, that did not meet the future lower limits.

Since few children’s products manufactured prior to this law have been tested for such limits, the law appears to ban the sale of new inventory and the resale of used children’s clothing and toys after February 10, 2009, unless such items can be shown to meet the lead and phthalate safety standards with test data. But since most were not tested already, it would require “retroactive testing” which would be onerous and expensive. It may be less expensive for vendors to dispose of their inventory of untested products, perhaps in landfills.

Both on the surface and based upon advisory opinions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it appears that this law effectively shuts down the entire used children’s clothing and toy industries, including sales of used children’s products by Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army. It has similar dire effects to unsold inventory of untested new children’s products held by retailers.

It may also affect families by banning them from selling used children’s clothing and toys via eBay, craigslist, and other means.

Eventually new children’s products meeting the new limits will be available in stores and over time will replenish the used inventory in charity and consignment stores. But it appears that if you buy a children’s product, you may need to retain receipts and documentation to show it was tested and when you bought it if you are to have any hope of donating or legally reselling it later.

Where to protest this law:

Petition: Save Kid’s Clothing Resale, Consignment & Thrift Stores from Closing!

Further reading:

New safety rules for children’s clothes have stores in a fit

Government Says, Sorry, No More Reselling your Kids’ Stuff

The End of Second-Hand Kids’ Clothes and Toys?

Consumer Products Safety Commission Advisory Ruling on CPSIA Applicability to Products in Inventory

Text of H.R. 4040 [110th]: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

Summary of CPSIA 2008 by Godfrey & Kahn, Attorneys At Law

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