Survive & Thrive
Check warehoused products.
“We … [had] procedures in place to ensure that all of our products met all federal standards before the CPSIA was enacted,” noted Larry Whitney, manager, trade compliance at Leed’s. Though the proactive effort from one of the industry’s largest suppliers can ease distributors’ fears, there was a modicum of confusion early on regarding warehoused products. Federal courts, said Soep, had to issue a ruling that existing inventory must also be tested, “because there’s the danger that you could have several hundred thousand pieces sitting in current inventory that are not compliant, but you’re going to say they are because the new production line of that item is,” he added.
What you can do: Ask to see testing reports for all products that have been in inventory for more than a year, as well as new items. According to Nicholson, “Many of our existing products in our warehouses have been tested for compliance to the new standards. This was prioritized based on products that fall under the CPSIA regulations.”
Get everyone educated.
The formation of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) has been generating buzz in our industry since its unveiling. “This organization can help distributors distinguish some of the companies making an effort to be ahead of the curve as it relates to these issues,” said Isaacson. What’s more, QCA (as well as other industry trade organizations) can help with the dissemination of information regarding CPSIA and forthcoming laws, which is half the battle. “I spend a good portion of every week explaining to distributors what some of the laws are,” said Soep. Though he does admit the jargon is intimidating, “You really have to take the time and read it and not just shuffle it away. The thing is to be able to read it and ask the questions,” he added.