Safety Standards Part One: CPSIA and Certification

When you sell a product, there is a lot more to think about than just pricing and distribution. While profit margins might be preoccupying a lot of your thoughts, it’s also crucial to think about the impact your product is going to have in other ways and particularly in terms of health and safety. Even if your product isn’t one that you would conventionally think of as dangerous, there are many ways that it might pose a potential risk to the wellbeing of your customers. Small products can be a choking hazard, fragile products can break and become sharp, and plastic materials can make toxic fumes.

Before you unleash your product upon the world, it’s critical to consider the health and safety implications and to familiarize yourself with the various laws.

Failure to consider these factors can have a lot of negative repercussions. Not only is there your conscience to think about, but in terms of your business it would be hugely damaging if one of your customers were to injure themselves with your product.

Before you unleash your invention upon the world then, it’s critical to consider the health and safety implications and to familiarise yourself with the law.

Safety Standards Part One CPSIA and Certification(cpsia)1

General Safety

Of course it is necessary for all products to meet basic criteria when it comes to safety and this is something you need to test yourself. A number of basic statutes, bans and laws are in place to ensure that manufacturers and retailers accomplish this generally and you can find out more by following this link: It is very important that you spend some real time researching these and doing everything possible to ensure that your product complies and is safe to use.

On top of general safety concerns though, there are also a number of specific acts and guidelines in place for particular products.


CPSIA stands for the ‘Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’ and was introduced in 2008 to impose new testing and documentation requirements for manufacturers of toys, children’s bedding, video games, children’s shoes and apparel, educational materials and more – but applying generally to children’s products. It also increased fines and jail time for those found to be in violation. You can find the act here:–Standards/CPSIA/The-Consumer-Product-Safety-Improvement-Act/

There are a lot of guidelines here so we’re not going to be able to go over them all right now. However, one requirement is that every product be subject to basic tests and that it comes with a ‘general conformity certificate’. This must be in English, must list contact details and much contain reference to each applicable rule/ban/standard. These certificates must accompany the product through distribution and must be available to the CPSC during inspections. The act also requires that certain products – such as those with small parts or items like cribs – be tested by a third party.

Finally, note that there is a relief of some of the 3rd party testing for small batch manufacturers.  You can learn more about that here:–Manufacturing/Small-Business-Resources/Small-Batch-Manufacturers-and-Third-Party-/

3rd Party Testing

So how do you get yourself a certificate and where do you find third party testing? Some of the larger international labs that offer 3rd part testing are:

Bureau Veritas




Don’t be put off by these safety requirements – they are there to protect your customers and to aid your business in doing so. If you are selling a general product to adults you will likely find that there isn’t too much for you to do – it’s just that you need to make sure and be on the safe side.

There are general safety requirements that mostly apply to children’s products, but there are other considerations to bear in mind too: such as products which use radio/wireless transmission or that are likely to come into contact with food. We will take a look at these cases in the next article.

In the meantime, stay safe!

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