CPSIA and print-on-demand

Print-on-demand technology has many promising applications for children’s products: it can keep low-sales-volume children’s books from falling out of print, for example, and it can make available T-shirts, posters or school supplies customized with the name of a particular child or family or that of a particular teacher’s class. Unfortunately, in the absence of a green light for component testing, each tiny “run” of goods may need to be lab-tested separately at what will often be prohibitive expense. The CPSC’s enforcement stay as to new-item testing bought a year’s time for most product makers, and its narrow and hastily granted exemption for newly printed books (which, alas, did not extend to countless other printed products) may have saved that particular product category. zisforzinnia For many other users and potential users of the technology, however, the problem has merely been kicked forward to next year in the absence of any willingness by Congress to clarify or change the law. Some discussions: Will Benton; Adam Dewitz, Print CEO (via Book Journeys), WSJ forums (dilemma faced by Tennessee printer). More on book exemption: AAP request, PDF; Etsy thread.


  • As far as I know no one at CPSC has addressed POD. It’s the same situation as one of a kind handcrafts, and POD publishers were not included in the publisher’s meeting.

  • Has anyone gotten any hard facts about places like CafePress and CPSIA? Someone told me CafePress was issuing GCCs and somebody else told me they were not.

  • Nope. They said they were testing but no word on them issuing GCCs yet. I think they wouldn’t need to to retail customers. Zazzle told me they’d give appropriate forms to any agency that needed them.