Contact: Adrienne Citrin, TIA
New Edition of ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard
180-day Clock Starts for Transition to New Edition
under the CPSIA
New York, NY | February 17, 2009 – A new
edition of the Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, ASTM
F963-2008, has been published today by ASTM
International. This widely used toy safety standard includes
guidelines and test methods to protect children from a wide range of
potential hazards, including lead exposure, choking, and sharp
edges. Changes included in the new edition include new safety
guidelines for magnetic components in toys and a number of other
Already widely used by the industry, under the terms of the Consumer
Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) F963 became a federally mandated
safety specification on February 10, 2009.
Under the law, the 2007 edition of the standard is still
mandatory. In a letter sent today to the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission, ASTM International – the standard developing
organization responsible for ongoing maintenance of the specification
– informed the agency of the new edition.
If the CPSC agrees that the revisions improve safety, there will be a
six month window before the new standard goes into effect under the
“This will give industry an opportunity to become familiar with
updates from the previous edition,” explained Joan Lawrence, TIA
vice president of safety standards and regulatory affairs.
According to ASTM, enhancements and additions now
approved for F963 include the following:
- Magnets — (enhancement) Revisions account for incidents of
ingestion due to magnetic components that were small parts of a toy and
to reflect the age of children involved in the incidents. The section on
magnets now also includes special use and abuse requirements to avoid
magnets from detaching from components during play.
- Acoustics — (enhancement) Requirements to this section were
changed to provide greater clarity. The revisions to this section also
further harmonization between F963 and the European toy standard, EN71-1.
- Yo-Yo Tether Toys — (addition) Requirements have been added to
address potential strangulation hazards associated with yo-yo elastic
tether toys intended for children three years of age or older.
- Impaction hazards — (enhancement) A new section providing
impaction hazard requirements for toys intended for children up to the
age of 48 months has been added. Diagrams of spherical and hemispherical
ends were also added.
- Flammability — (enhancement) Revision establishes the protocol
and general criteria for flammability testing of solids and soft toys in
conformance with the requirements of 16CFR 1500.3(c)(6)(vi).
Other revised areas of the standard include sections on jaw
entrapment; packaging film/age requirements as they pertain to use and
abuse testing; and folding mechanisms and hinges.
The standard does not affect the limits for lead or phthalates as
described in the CPSIA.
“Congressional recognition of ASTM 963 signifies the
thoroughness of the standard and the role of ASTM in toy safety,”
said Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and
regulatory affairs. “TIA is pleased to introduce this
updated version of the standard to our constituents and encourage all
companies in the toy industry – manufacturers and retailers
– to get involved in the standards process.”
ASTM F963 is maintained by ASTM International Committee F15, Consumer
Products and its Subcommittee on Toy Safety. The subcommittee is
comprised of technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry
and government who work together to review and update the standard on a
regular basis; it is chaired by Joan Lawrence.
Copies of the standard are available in
electronic format or hard copy from ASTM International.
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. Toy safety is the number one priority for the
toy industry. 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.
ASTM International Approves Guidelines Regulating Cadmium in
November 10, 2011 | ASTM International has approved
a new standard regulating cadmium levels in children’s jewelry for
sale in the United States, according to a November 10 press release issued by ASTM
Designed by a children’s jewelry subcommittee convened under
the banner of ASTM International, “Specification for Consumer Product Safety for
Children’s Jewelry” (ASTM F2923) aims to replace
differing state-by-state regulations with a unified standard and provide
guidance to the jewelry industry.
“ASTM F2923 is the cornerstone for assuring consumers that
children’s jewelry has been tested and proven to conform to safe
manufacturing standards,” Brent Cleaveland, chairman of the
subcommittee, stated in the press release. “The next step is to
educate our state and federal legislators that this standard exists and
should be used to promote harmonization.”
Under the standard, children’s jewelry (defined as items
“primarily intended” for children 12 and under) will be lab
tested to see if more than 0.03 percent cadmium is contained within.
Items failing the total content test will either be scrapped or tested
further to gauge the solubility and potential exposure to cadmium if the
items were to be ingested (for small items) or licked (for larger items
that could not be swallowed).
The concern over cadmium in children’s jewelry arose out of a
2010 Associated Press story which reported elevated cadmium levels in
children’s jewelry items found in some stores. Certain media
reports erroneously referred to these items as “toys” but a
review of toys on the market conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) confirmed that toys do not pose a risk from
“There is a longstanding standard that limits accessible
cadmium and other heavy metals in the surface coatings of toys,”
said Joan Lawrence, VP of standards and government affairs at the Toy
Industry Association (TIA). “While there have been reported
issues regarding the presence of cadmium in children’s jewelry
products, no such issues have been identified in toys,” Lawrence
added, underscoring the effectiveness of the existing toy standard.
The new ASTM standard for children’s jewelry includes
requirements to address other potential hazards, some modeled after the
existing ASTM F963 standard for toys. “We congratulate and applaud
our colleagues who participated in the development of this
children’s jewelry standard,” said Lawrence. “Their
efforts to ensure the safety of these products – and their
dedication to develop a standard in short order – is to be
Toy Industry Association Joins The Sustainability
January 31, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association (TIA), the
not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and
youth entertainment products sold in North America, has announced its
membership with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), an
independent organization of diverse global participants working to
design and implement credible, transparent and scalable science-based
measurement and reporting systems accessible for all producers and users
of consumer products.
TIA has long-considered environmental sustainability to be a top
industry priority. The Association’s Environmental Mission Statement, approved in 1999,
confirms the commitment of TIA’s members to protecting the
environment and their consideration of the environmental impact of their
products and activities while continuing to provide safe, quality
merchandise that meets customer and consumer needs. TIA's Environmental Sustainability
Committee has worked collaboratively with NGOs and retailers to
help protect the environment by addressing the environmental aspects of
products in order to reduce waste and promote recycling.
As part of the Consortium’s Toy Sector Working Group, the
Association will work alongside several of its member companies and
other toy industry stakeholders, including Disney and Walmart, to help
advance sustainable developments. The toy industry will also benefit
from Consortium research activities that facilitate understanding and
informed decision-making among consumer, supply chain, scientific and
During a meeting in Hong Kong in early January, Toy Sector Working
Group members reviewed the industry’s sustainability developments
and efforts, how these efforts are being used in practice today, and
expectations of where further alignment may be required. The meeting
concluded with a development of action plans and a proposed roadmap of
activities to address common issues spanning the product life cycle.
“As part of the Toy Sector Working Group, we plan to explore
several areas from plant-based plastics to packaging reduction,”
said Alan Kaufman, SVP of Technical Affairs at TIA. “TIA will keep
our members updated and represent our industry in this prestigious
multi-stakeholder forum. We also look forward to working alongside
TIA member organizations as co-members of the Working Group.”
TIF Welcomes New Toy Bank Contributor in March
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) thanks 4Kids
Entertainment, Inc. for their first-ever donation to The Toy Bank in
March 2010! 4Kids Entertainment generously contributed hundreds of
trading card game sets and accessories to The Toy Bank in support
Comforts, TIF’s national partnership with Boys & Girls
Clubs of America serving military families.
All Toy Bank donors are eligible for a tax deduction, have their
company name listed on the TIF website, Toy Bank website, TIF Annual
Report, and TOTY Tribute Book, and receive a Toy Bank “Official
Contributor” image for use on their company website. TIF
will post a direct link in the Foundation’s online donor listings
for Toy Bank donors who post this image on their company websites.
For more information about making a product donation or a financial
contribution in support of this program, please visit www.toyindustryfoundation.org
or contact Amanda
McDorman at 646-520-4878.
Toy Fair 2012 Educational and Networking Opportunities
January 3, 2012 | The Toy Industry
Association’s (TIA) American International Toy Fair is a little
over a month away … and the educational seminars taking place once
again at this year’s show will serve to enhance the learning
experience of every attendee.
A variety of sessions will focus on the distinct needs of Toy Fair
audiences, including independent and mass retailers, the creative
community, safety & compliance experts, craft & hobby
professionals, importers, exporters and more. For up to the minute
session descriptions, presenter details, and scheduling visit the Toy
Fair website or check the on-site signage.
- Saturday, February 11
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Room 1C03, Level 1
This session is designed to provide guidance to new exhibitors and
answer any last minute questions or concerns about participating in the
show. This session will also include a tour of the Javits Center.
- Sunday, February 12
Independent Thinking presents: “Guerilla Marketing: Free and
Low Cost Marketing Ideas to Drive More Traffic and Profits to Your
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Presented by Patricia Norins (Publisher,
Specialty Retail Report, GIFT SHOP
magazine & GREENRetailer), this fast-paced session
will share inexpensive, innovative and unbelievably effective grassroots
marketing strategies. Norins will discuss 50+ marketing ideas that
you can put to work right away to build stronger relationships with your
customers and to increase store traffic and sell more products.
- Monday, February 13
A Guide to
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This session will be presented by Anne S. Evans, District Director, U.S.
Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.
- Tuesday, February 14
Toy Safety Compliance
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Special Events Hall 1D, Level 1
Expanding on the format of recent years, this year’s in-depth,
three-hour session will include presentations from the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) and provide detailed information on toy safety
standards, laws, and compliance requirements in the U.S. and abroad. The
presentation is free to TIA members; the non-member fee is $149.
TIA’s Independent Thinking presents: “3
Secrets to Increasing Retails Sales & Profits in 30 Days”
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This session will be presented by Cathy Donovan Wagner, founder of
RETAILMavens.com, a company devoted to teaching independent and
specialty retailers how to increase their profits. With more than 20
years of experience in retail as both an owner and a consultant, Wagner
will use her unique position of having worked on both sides of the
counter to share her working knowledge of what a store needs to be
Toy Fair 2012 will take place February 12-15 at the Jacob K. Javits
Convention Center in New York City. Visit ToyFairNY.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for
Save the Date for ToyDesignCon 2012: Informing and Inspiring Toy
and Game Designers
March 13, 2012 | Toy Industry Association and The Strong, home of
the National Museum of Play, invite toy and game designers to come
together for a three-day “play date” this June at the
world’s most comprehensive historical collection of toys and
From June 24th through June 26th, ToyDesignCon 2012:
Informing and Inspiring Toy and Game Designers will bring creative
professionals from TIA member companies to The Strong in
Rochester, NY for a unique design conference that will feature the
history of toy design, offer new ways to innovate, and provide updates
on emerging regulations and technology affecting current and future toy
Toy designers, design teams and inventors from TIA member companies
who come to this playful, interactive conference will have access to The
Strong’s vast resources – including the musem and its play
areas and observation rooms; library and archives of play; and
world-renowned toy collections.
“TIA is pleased to partner with The Strong to host this
inaugural conference in support of TIA's toy designer and inventor
community,” said TIA president Carter Keithley. “We look
forward to a fun-filled event that we hope will stimulate fresh design
ideas by taking inspiration from the past and providing information for
More information will be available in the Events section of the TIA website in the near
TIA Visits the Madame Alexander Doll Company
TIA President Carter Keithley talks with Gale Jarvis, President of
the Madame Alexander Doll Company. A longtime TIA member company (they
first joined Toy Manufacturers of America back in 1933!), Madame
Alexander produces a complete line from high fashion dolls for the
discriminating collector to play dolls for children. Ms. Jarvis talks
about the origins of the company, her favorite dolls, and her vision for
extending the original values of Madame Alexander to new generations
through the use of contemporary characters and modern
Tenenbaum Becomes New CPSC Chair Following Unanimous Vote of
Inez Tenenbaum, former South Carolina Superintendent of Education, was
confirmed Friday, June 19, to serve as chair of the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate
came three days after her confirmation
hearing. She started her four-year term on Monday, June 22, and is
expected to be sworn in by President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe
Biden later this week.
“I will ensure that the Commission is operated in an open,
transparent, and collaborative way and in a manner worthy of the
American people. As the new Chairman, I will reassure America's families
that their government can and will protect them from unknown or
unforeseen dangers in the products they use,” Tenenbaum told the
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in her prepared
One of her first priorities will be issuing clear guidance on
implementation of the Consumer Product
Safety Improvement Act.
“Not only do I have the mandate to enforce the law, I'll be
building the agency so we can meet the changes of a global economy with
the imports we receive,” she said.
“I'm confident she has the determination and skills to lead
this important commission,” said Senator Jim DeMint, who defeated
Tenenbaum, a Democrat, in their 2004 Senate election.
TIF Welcomes New Toy Bank Contributors
March 26, 2012 | The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF),
the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, thanks the
following 76 companies for their first-ever donation to The Toy
Bank in February and March 2012.
>>>> VIEW NEW FEBRUARY/MARCH DONORS
The majority of new donors gave their first-ever donation during The
Toy Bank collection at the close of Toy Fair 2012, when a record-breaking 32,330 toys, games and plush
were donated by more than 200 companies.
Toys donated to The Toy Bank support TIF’s partnerships with
the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Military Services and My Stuff Bags
Foundation. Toys are also distributed to charities in Canada and
across the U.S. through Toy Bank partner Kids in Distressed
All Toy Bank donors have their company name listed on the TIF website, TIF Annual Report, and TOTY Tribute
Book, and may request an official Toy Bank Supporter badge for use on
their company website.
For more information about making a product donation or to request
the Toy Bank Supporter badge, please contact Foundation Coordinator
Melissa Kipp at 646-520-4878 or email@example.com.
Reminder: Toy Industry Compensation and Benefits Survey
April 30, 2012 | The Toy Industry Association (TIA)
is reminding both TIA member and non-member companies engaged in the
manufacture, importing and distribution of toys in the United States and
Canada to complete the 2012 Toy Industry Compensation & Benefits
Survey issued earlier this month. The deadline to
complete the survey is Friday, May 11th.
Created by TIA in partnership with Industry Insights, Inc., it is the
first toy industry survey of its kind to be issued since 2002-2003.
Survey results will allow toy companies to compare the compensation and
benefit offerings for more than 70 toy industry position titles.
Toy company executives and/or their HR designees will have the option
of completing the survey online or via hard copy. Invitations were sent
to TIA member contacts via e-mail and in print form the week of April
10th; those who did not receive a copy of the survey and would like one
are encouraged to contact the TIA Communications
Department. All responses will be returned directly to the research
firm where they will be kept in strict confidence; no
individual company responses will be shared with TIA or any other person
Once the survey results have been analyzed, tabulated and compiled,
TIA members, regardless of whether they participated in the survey, will
be eligible to receive complimentary access to:
- Final industry-wide report – comparative
compensation and benefits information based on relevant data
- 24/7 access to an online searchable results tool
– allows for multi-filtering of data aggregates in the
- Company Compensation Report (CCR) (for survey
participants only) – your company’s confidential reported
figures featured alongside the appropriate industry comparatives
Non-members who did not partake in the survey may purchase a copy of
the results and access to the online searchable results tool for $695;
non-member survey participants may purchase the summary document, online
searchable results tool and the confidential, individualized report for
A TIA webinar explaining the results of the survey will be held in
June. Questions or requests for additional information may be directed
U.S. Department of Commerce Course to Provide Businesses,
Individuals with Export Tips
June 3, 2011 | Export
University, a training program affiliated with the U.S. Department
of Commerce, is holding a full-day educational session in New York City
on June 14, 2011, ideal for marketing and sales management and staff,
import/export operations personnel and anyone with a responsibility for
“Export 101 – Introduction to Exporting,” lead by
the New York U.S. Export Assistance Center in collaboration with the New
York District Export Council, will help attendees learn the ropes of
exporting; understand the rules of export licensing; and experience a
day of executive-level pragmatic presentations from experts in the field
of international business. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. at the Varick Street Incubator, NYU-POLY.
Agenda topics include:
- Organizing for Export & Export Procedures
- Export Regulations Overview
- Considerations for Managing International Sales Orders
- International Logistics
- Assessing Risk & Opportunity
- Managing Payment Risk and Financing the Sale
Event speakers include (more to be added):
- Ryan Hollowell, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial
- Bruce Niswander, Director, NYU-POLY Centers for
- Charles Dugan, Vice President, Global Trade Finance, TDBank, New
- Joseph Schoonmaker, Altus Multinational Group, LLC, New York
- Kelly Raia, Senior Consultant and Trainer, American River
- Melvin S. Schwechter, Dewey & LeBoeuf
In preparation for the course, attendees are encouraged to conduct
an online self-assessment of readiness for exporting.
Registration can be completed online; for more information, please
University presents courses on exporting designed to help
new-to-export U.S. companies begin an export initiative and gain skills
and innovation in international sales. Presenters are international
trade practitioners that are associated with the New York District
Export Council, a group of private-sector individuals appointed by the
Secretary of Commerce to provide mentoring on exporting. They will
present the course material drawing from their extensive experience in
Attendees will receive a certificate following completion of this
Fall Toy Preview Total Buyer Attendance Grows by 3%; Global
Participation Jumps Nearly 10%
October 8, 2012 | The Toy Industry
Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview 2012 opened its doors last
week in Dallas, Texas to more than 700 buyers from around the world,
welcoming a 3% increase in total buyers who visited the Oct. 2-4 event
to get a first look at the hottest new toys and games for Holiday 2013.
Foreign buyer attendance grew 9% year-to-year.
Members of the international toy industry visited Fall Toy Preview
from 34 countries (+10%); the top five countries represented by buyers
were Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia and Hong Kong. More
than 340 retail outlets (+4%) were in attendance, including 20 of the
Top 25 Toy Sellers in the U.S. and 27 of the Top 250 Global Powers of
Retailing, such as Amazon, Big Lots, Costco, Family Dollar Store, Sears
Holdings Corp, Toys “R” Us, Target and Walmart Stores,
A record-breaking 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines
in open, closed or combination booths and showrooms, including Alexander
Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and
Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA.
“We are thrilled to report that Fall Toy Preview 2012 was a
great success! Many exhibitors on the show floor reported being
back-to-back buyer appointments and were abuzz with the positive
feedback they were receiving,” said Marian Bossard, TIA vice
president of meetings and events. “Additionally, increased
attendance numbers across nearly all categories made for a dynamic,
energetic crowd of people who were there to conduct serious business
over the course of the three-day show.”
Sponsored by Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL
Rush Zone, the opening night party (Oct. 2) raised funds for the Toy
Industry Foundation and gave participants a chance to relax, have fun,
and even meet Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who took
photographs and mingled with partygoers.
Held annually at the Dallas Market Center, Fall Toy Preview is a
by-appointment-only event designed to give toy buyers from long lead and
mass market retail outlets a central marketplace in which to meet
one-on-one with their vendors 12-15 months in advance of in-store
delivery. To participate, exhibitors must currently sell to mass
market accounts; all products shown must be available for fourth quarter
sales in the following year.
Information about Fall Toy Preview 2013 (October 1-3, 2013) will be
made available in the coming months at FallToyPreview.org.
Contacts: Andrew Worob / Adrienne Citrin
G.S. Schwartz & Co. / Toy Industry Association
(Cell) (845) 304-6521 / (Cell) (646) 207-3724
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Record First Day
Attendance Reported at Toy Fair 2008
NEW YORK, NY (February 18, 2008) -- Opening day
attendance at the 105th Toy Fair Sunday, February 17, was up
significantly over 2007, an indication of strong confidence in the toy
industry. Buyer registration for day one of Toy Fair was up 30% over
2007 and triple the number of reporters registered on Sunday.
“There’s tremendous excitement on the show floor among
both exhibitors and buyers,” said TIA president, Carter Keithley.
“Exhibitors are enthused about the quality of attendees and
there’s a high level of interest in new products.”
In addition to mass market retailers, big names such as QVC, Foot
Locker, Hewlett-Packard, Harrods, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Radio
Shack and Spencer Gifts were among the retailers from around the globe
present on Sunday. Opening day buyer attendance topped 9,200 this
year, compared to 7,100 for the same day last year.
Javits Center was buzzing with press activity too, on Sunday, with
more than 900 members of the media at day one of Toy Fair 2008, as
compared to 300 for opening day 2007.
An estimated total of 35,000 members of the toy industry and media
are expected to attend before the show closes Wednesday afternoon.
About the American International Toy Fair®
American International Toy Fair is the largest toy trade show
in the Western Hemisphere. More than 1,200 manufacturers, distributors,
importers and sales agents from over 94 countries showcase their toy and
entertainment products. From classic toys to interactive entertainment
and everything in between, we have it all! Products include: action
figures and dolls, games and puzzles, bicycles, tricycles and ride-ons,
radio-controlled vehicles, infant and preschool toys, cars, trucks, and
trains, puppets and plush, audio and video cassettes, computer software
and video games, playground and sporting equipment, Halloween,
Christmas, books, stationery, party supplies, and much more
For free video content of Toy Fair from the Toy Industry Association,
please log on to www.thenewsmarket.com/toys to preview and request
video. You can receive broadcast-standard video digitally or by tape
from this site. Registration and video is free to the media.
2012 Summer Toy Drive Brings in Record-Breaking Donations
September 4, 2012 | The Toy
Industry Foundation’s record-breaking 2012 Summer
Toy Drive (May 1-August 31) collected nearly 290,000 toys bringing joy,
play and learning to children in need.
Thanks to the toy manufacturers, retailers and distributors who
participated in this year’s drive, TIF’s Toy
Bank received 59% more toys than last year. This year’s
gifts also surged in value by a staggering 425% – $6.5 million
worth of playthings were donated versus $1.2 million in 2011.
“With the help of our generous donors, we were able to deliver
playthings to 44 children’s charities in The Toy Bank network
across the country, as well as to children living on 17 military
bases,” said Foundation Coordinator, Melissa Kipp. “The
significant increase in donations allowed us to bring play to 107,000
more disadvantaged children than last summer!”
The following is the list of companies who participated in the 2012
Summer Toy Drive, donating toys, games, books, DVDs and arts &
Adventure Publishing/The Toy Insider
American Plastic Toys
Barnes & Noble Inc.
Blue Orange Games
Demos Toy Company
Dune Craft, Inc.
Every Baby Company
Giochi Preziosi USA, Inc.
Green Toys Inc.
Hasbro in honor of Reuben Klamer
JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
Just Play LLC
Kids in Distressed Situations
Little Kids, Inc.
Maxim Enterprise, Inc.
MEGA Brands America
Pillow Pets/ CJ Products
Plan Toys, Inc
|Prestige Toy Corp.
Pretty Ugly, LLC
Private Island Party
RoomMates a Division of York Wallcoverings
Royal Brush Manufacturing Inc.
Small World Toys
Smart Toys and Games
The Bridge Direct
Toy Industry Association
Whirled Peas the Game
Wikki Stix Co. (Omnicor Inc.)
“To all of our Toy Bank friends, thank you for your continued
kindness. We appreciate your support of our year-round program to
deliver laughs and smiles to children who need our help the most,”
The Toy Bank is a year-round program; it is currently collecting for
the final two Play Comforts events for military children in 2012 and is
preparing for the next trade show collection at Fall Toy Preview in
Dallas (Oct. 2-4, 2012). To donate or learn more, please visit
the TIF website or contact Melissa
An Early Peek Under the Tree
Reprinted from the New York Times [Sunday, October 18,
Halloween isn’t even here yet, yet many retailers have
Christmas on the brain. And no wonder: Holiday sales could spell the
difference between recession and recovery for them.
According to a new survey by the NPD Group, 30 percent of consumers
plan to spend less money on holiday gifts this year than they did a year
ago. Eleven percent plan to spend more, while 59 percent expect to spend
around the same amount.
Which companies will be the biggest beneficiaries of what looks to be
a somewhat restrained giving season? Thirty-four percent of consumers
surveyed planned to buy toys, followed by movies, books, electronics,
accessories and music.
No. 1 on the giving list? Nearly 50 percent surveyed said they
planned to buy apparel. That means that makers of the dreaded Christmas
sweater are likely to stay in business for another year.
TIA Requests Member Input for Consolidated Industry Comments on
CPSIA Proposed Rules
previously reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) has undertaken a number of actions to progress various aspects of
the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Two
public comment periods are currently underway for Proposed Rules on
Component Part Testing and Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product
- Proposed Rule on Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product
This proposed rule establishes requirements
for a reasonable testing program and for various testing requirements
for children's products (e.g., testing random samples, verifying
compliance, and safeguarding against undue influence on third party
testing facilities). It allows manufacturers to label products as
compliant with CPSC safety requirements and – in line with a
request for flexibility suggested by TIA – provides for reasonable
quality assurance programs as a means of assuring compliance to CPSIA
Instructions for submitting
comments can be found in the Federal Register notice
(Reference Docket No. CPSC-2010-0038).
- Proposed Rule on Component Part Testing
proposed rule sets forth conditions and requirements for testing
component parts of consumer products. While similar to the current
Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certification, this
version clarifies that a manufacturer or importer may rely on supplier
tests and certifications provided that the components can be traced
throughout the entire supply chain and that manufacturers are
responsible for assuring that supplied components are not substituted or
contaminated during production.
Instructions for submitting comments can be
found in the Federal Register notice (Reference Docket No.
Comments on both Proposed Rules are due to CPSC by August 3,
2010. TIA will be developing written comments on
behalf of the toy industry. Members are requested to provide input to TIA as soon as
possible for inclusion in the compilation of toy industry input
that will be prepared and submitted by the comment deadline.
TIA will also be developing written comments on behalf of the toy
industry on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the
development of a publicly accessible, searchable database on the safety
of consumer products and other products or substances regulated by the
CPSC. The draft proposed rule contains the interpretation of
statutory requirements concerning the information to be included in the
database. Also included are interpretations regarding submitting reports
of harm, providing the notices of reports of harm to the manufacturers
of the products in question, publishing the reports of harm - as well as
manufacturer comments - in the database, and procedures for dealing with
confidential or materially inaccurate information. The CPSIA requires
that the public database be established by March 2011.
Members are requested to provide input to TIA as soon as
possible, but no later than July 9th, for inclusion in the
compilation of input that will be prepared and submitted to the CPSC by
the July 23rd deadline.
Comments can be sent to TIA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPSC to Vote on Extending the Stay of Enforcement on Testing and
Certification of Lead Content in Children’s Products
This article is an excerpt from the Product Safety Letter.
The full article can be read online.
January 25, 2011 | Members of the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) are set to vote by Monday, January 31 on
extending the stay of enforcement until September 14, 2011 on testing
and certification rules for lead content in certain children’s
The expiration date for the current stay is February 10, 2011 –
an extension of the stay, originally created in
February 2009. The CPSC staff briefing package recommending the
September 14, 2011 extension is available online.
According to the CPSC, this extension would not affect the non-lead
stays that are in effect because the Commission has not yet issued
relevant accreditation rules for third-party labs. Those stays –
including those for phthalates in children's toys and child care items
or for compliance with ASTM’s F963 toy standard – will
remain in place or lapse depending on when the CPSC issues each set of
TIA will keep members apprised of any developments.
TIA to Host Delegation from Gulf Countries during Commerce
Department-Sponsored “Standards in Trade” Workshop; TIA
Members Invited to Participate in March 24th Conference
March 1, 2011 | A “Standards in Trade”
Workshop organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will bring a
delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standardization
Organization (GSO) – which represents many of the
countries in the Arab States – to the U.S. during the period of
March 21-24, 2011 for a discussion of regulations and certification
initiatives that will affect companies doing business in the
“The purpose of the GSO visit is to educate interested parties on
the new Regulatory System and the new Regional Conformity Assessment
Scheme (RCAS) for the GCC single market,” said NIST event
organizers. Toys, as an area subject to developing regulations in
the region, have been selected as a priority area for these meetings.
TIA Members Invited to
Participate in March 24th Event
Participation (in person or via teleconference
/ webinar) by interested TIA members is encouraged. Contact
TIA’s Lorca Hjortsberg for additional information.
The collaboration between NIST and GCC/GSO began in June 2010, when
NIST and other U.S. government personnel visited GCC/GSO headquarters in
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and when the GCC conformity assessment outreach
program in the U.S. was born.
Three high-level GSO representatives will be present at the March
workshop, including the Director of Conformity Assessment, Eng. Saud Al
On Monday, March 21, “Standards, Conformity Assessment and
Regulation in the GCC” will be the topic of the day, with
overviews and talks given by GSO representatives; on Tuesday, March 22,
representatives from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
(AHAM), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the Air
Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), will be
speaking, among others. Both day-long workshops will be held at the NIST
office in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
On Thursday, March 24, delegates will meet at the TIA offices in New
York City to spend the day discussing “Standards, Conformity
Assessment and Regulation in the GCC,” which will include
afternoon workshops on Product Safety Regulation and Toy Regulation,
involve the participation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) via webinar, and include discussions with TIA members and
This “Standards in Trade” Workshop is organized by NIST
with support provided by AHRI, the American Council of Independent
Laboratories (ACIL), AHAM, the Association of Electrical Medical Imaging
Equipment of Manufacturers (NEMA) and TIA.
Obama to Nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as New
Ambassador to China
March 8, 2011 | In a formal announcement expected
today, President Obama will nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as
the next U.S. ambassador to China. The Beijing vacancy was created
when Ambassador Jon Huntsman resigned the post; Huntsman plans to depart
Beijing in April.
During TIA’s annual Washington, DC, Fly-In on May
5th, 2010, toy industry representatives met with Secretary Locke,
Manufacturing and Services Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale, Acting
Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Stephen Jacobs, and
Julia Doherty, Senior Director for Non-Tariff Measures in the Office of
the U.S. Trade Representative. During his remarks, Secretary Locke
thanked the toy industry for “encouraging innovation and the
intellectual stimulation of children.”
In response to a suggestion from TIA Chair Bryan Stockton that the
identification of tariffs, protectionist measures, technical barriers to
trade and standards alignment were the four key challenges facing the
industry, the Secretary identified a number of resources that are
available to assist U.S. toy companies with expansion into the global
marketplace. In addition to Foreign Commercial Service officers
stationed around the globe, the website www.export.gov and President
Obama’s National Export Initiative were cited as programs that can
help businesses grow their international reach. The APEC Toy
Safety Initiative launched in 2009 was also referenced as a “model
of good government” and a success in moving forward the concept of
standards alignment and minimizing the prospect that the CPSIA could
have been seen as a technical barrier to trade.
Locke, a former two-term governor of Washington State, is Chinese
American and well-regarded in the Chinese business community. He is the
first Chinese-American to be Secretary of Commerce and the first
Asian-American to be elected governor of any state. If confirmed
by the Senate, Locke would become the first Cabinet secretary to leave
his post. No potential successors for Locke at Commerce were yet being
“The president asked him to take this job because
Locke had the experience and relationships necessary to take on this key
post,” a senior administration official told ABC News on Monday.
“As Commerce Secretary, Locke has delivered on the
president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years
(up 17 percent in 2010), led the push for patent and export control
reforms and presided over a Census count that came in 25 percent under
budget – returning more than $2 billion to the
Earlier this year the Obama administration announced plans to
streamline the Commerce Department and sharpen its focus on making U.S.
businesses more competitive and reorganize how the government handles
international trade issues. The Department’s 38,000 employees
oversee a diverse portfolio, from helping businesses and conducting the
census to providing accurate weather forecasts and granting patents and
TIA Exhibit Puts Spotlight on Global Harmonization of Toy
Standards at 2011 World Standards Day
October 14, 2011 | Toy Industry Association (TIA)
joined with nearly a dozen other trade associations, professional
societies and government agencies that gathered in Washington, DC today
(Oct. 14) for an exhibition on Capitol Hill to commemorate “World
Standards Day 2011: Advancing Safety and Sustainability Standards
The annual celebration highlights the crucial role of
standards, codes and conformity assessments that cross national borders
and promote health, safety and environmental protection. According to
event organizers, the theme this year shone a spotlight on standards as
“an adaptive framework for developing the most effective solutions
to critical global challenges.”
TIA’s exhibit on Capitol Hill – along with a similar
exhibit during a dinner last night attended by leaders of business,
industry, academia and government – introduced attendees to the
United States’ long history in toy safety initiatives while also
showcasing the federally-mandated ASTM F963 toy safety standard and its
more than 100 separate tests and design specifications that are intended
to reduce or eliminate hazards with the potential to cause injury under
conditions of normal use or reasonably foreseeable misuse.
“Our presence at World Standards Day allowed us the opportunity
to underscore the importance of sound science and risk analysis when
creating standards, as well as the need for global harmonization of toy
safety standards to enhance the safety of toys for children all around
the world,” said Joan Lawrence, VP of safety and government
affairs at TIA. Visitors to TIA’s booth received a hand-out delineating the significance of
standards alignment and the leadership role the U.S. has played in toy
standards development over time.
Today’s exhibition on Capitol Hill capped off a series
of World Standards Week events held in Washington,
DC. TIA wishes to extend a special thank-you to Sue DeRagon of testing
laboratory UL STR, who assisted with TIA’s exhibit by
answering attendee questions regarding toy safety standards and testing
World Standards Day was implemented in 1970 and is now recognized
worldwide. In the United States, the annual event is co-chaired by the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Commerce
Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology
For more information about U.S. toy safety standards, visit the
“Safety Standards” section of TIA’s website; for more information about U.S.
World Standards Day visit www.wsd-us.org.