Are you planning to import a new children’s product to the United States?
Imagine that you’ve worked hard to find the right manufacturer, taken all the steps to ensure quality control, and the factory has finally shipped your order. You should be elated, but you’re not — there’s an awful feeling in the pit of your stomach.
You’ve just received a notification informing you that your product was seized at customs.
You completely missed something — that is, you didn’t realize that since your product is intended for children, you needed to include a Children’s Product Certificate or CPC with your shipment.
Whether you’re planning to sell your product on Amazon, your website, or in retail stores, this rule applies. And in this article, we explain what a CPC is and how to get one.
What is a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)?
A CPC is a document required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). It certifies that your children’s product complies with all applicable product safety rules.
This certification is dependent on your products passing laboratory tests, which must be conducted at a third-party testing laboratory. The laboratory needs to be one that is accepted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
For products manufactured overseas, the importer — most likely you — is responsible for issuing the CPC. For products manufactured domestically, the manufacturer is responsible.
A CPC needs to be included with each shipment you send to the US.
How do You Get a Children’s Product Certificate?
A Children’s Product Certificate is not something that you “get” per se — it is something that you create as the importer.First, you need to be sure that you understand all the rules that apply to your product. Any time you are importing children’s products, there is a whole slew of regulations that might apply to them.
You need to do your due diligence and make use of the resources offered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You may even want to hire a consultant to help you navigate all the laws and regulations.
Once you are certain about which regulations apply to your product, you’ll hire a CPSC-accepted lab in the country of manufacture, and they will test your products to those regulations.
At Insight, we work closely with CPSC-accepted labs and can assist you if you do not have a lab-testing partner already.
Next, you’ll put all the required information into your Children’s Product Certificate.
What Information Goes Into Your Children’s Product Certificate?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, your Children’s Product Certificate should have the following:
- Identification of the product covered by this certificate.
Citation to each CPSC children’s product safety rule to which this product is being certified.
- Identification of the importer or domestic manufacturer certifying compliance of the product.
- Contact information for the individual maintaining records of test results.
- Date and place where this product was manufactured.
- Provide the date(s) and place when the product was tested for compliance with the consumer product safety rule(s) cited above.
- Identify any third party, CPSC-accepted laboratory on whose testing the certificate depends.
More detailed information, as well as sample certificates, can be found here.
So how do you find a lab?
How to Find the Right Lab to Test Your Children’s Products
As we’ve discussed, to certify your products, you will need to have them tested by a CPSC-accepted lab in the country of manufacture.
The CPSC website has a lab search page where you can search for labs by name, country, or testing scope. You can use it to verify that a specific lab is CPSC-accepted or to find a new lab.
At Insight, we’ve partnered with local laboratories in Asia and work very closely with them. If you need a resource, feel free to reach out to us about lab testing.
Also, we’ve put together a free lab testing guide that you can download if you are wondering how to get started.
Lab Testing: How to Get Started
As a consumer product importer, lab tests help you ensure that your products are compliant with regulations in the country of importation.
We’ve put together this guide to help you get started with lab testing so that you can make your products available for sale sooner rather than later. Avoid fines and customs issues by starting off on the right foot.