April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 52 of 136

THE DECORATION In the contract decorator scenario, used for this ex- ample, the promo distributor would generally be considered the manufacturer for the applied decora- tion. The CPSIA defines the manufacturer as, "any person who manufactures or imports a consumer product." Now, the distributor purchased the prod- uct from an apparel supplier, so they did not import it and did not manufacture it themselves. How can the distributor be considered the manufacturer? This is where it gets tricky, and confusion begins to set in on all sides. I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. By adding an imprint through the decoration process, the distributor has decided to make what is referred to by the law as a "material change" to the product. In doing so, the distributor has taken on the responsibilities of a manufacturer under CPSIA. This includes responsibility for ink testing, a certificate of conformity, and a secondary tracking label. The original tracking label on the garment only ap- plies to the blank garment. The new secondary track- ing label applies to the decoration. The CPSC defines a material change as, "a change that the manufacturer makes to their product's de- sign, to the manufacturing process, or to the source of component parts for the product, which a manu- facturer, exercising due care, knows, or should know, could affect the product's ability to comply with the applicable children's product standards." As a third-party contract decorator, you are consid- ered an agent working on behalf of the distributor, who is now considered a manufacturer for this mate- rial change. That does not mean you are now in the clear. As part of the supply chain, you are still responsible for applying compliant embellishments to the gar- ment (inks, hard attachments, dyes, etc.) regardless of whether it is requested. And, you must be able to pro- vide the distributor with the appropriate compliance documents for the specific embellishment related to the type of decoration used. BEST PRACTICES The following are some best practice tips from deco- rators that you can use to mitigate risk. These are only suggested best practices based on interpreta- tion of the law and its application. Test reports: Testing under CPSIA pertains to lead. A third-party accredited lab must perform phthalates testing. The good news is that most gar- ments are exempt from lead testing. However, any other components that are part of the garment must be tested (e.g. ink, zippers, buttons, and decora- tions). Note that phthalate testing is only required for children's products intended for those three years of age and younger. The distributor is advised to obtain the appropri- ate certificates from the apparel supplier. The deco- rator is also advised to obtain the test reports from the decoration manufacturer and provide them to the distributor. As mentioned earlier, the decorator is still responsible for applying compliant embellish- ments to the garment. And, you must be able to provide the distributor with the appropriate com- pliance documents (e.g. test reports) for the specific embellishment type. A periodic testing plan must be in place, and test- ing must be conducted (using only a CPSC-accepted laboratory) at least once per year, per the general CPSIA COMPLIANCE 46 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 7

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