Etsy reminded sellers last month that they are ultimately responsible for the safety and compliance of their products, and it provided information and resources to help sellers comply with legal requirements.
Etsy focused on product safety requirements for art materials and craft supplies, but its post serves as a reminder to all sellers on all platforms to stay up-to-date on local, state, and federal laws, especially around product safety, which sellers may not routinely think about.
Etsy referred to a federal law called the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA), which defines art materials broadly as “any substance represented by the producer or repackager as suitable for use in any phase of the creation of any work of visual or graphic art of any medium.”
The federal watchdog, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), considers the following materials and products to be art materials, according to Etsy: “if they are packaged, promoted, or marketed in a way that suggests they are intended for use as such: ceramics and clay, chalk, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, glue, including white craft glue, jewelry-making kits, markers, paints, painting kits, polymer clay packs, watercolor disks, and some stickers.”
Etsy noted that the CPSC does not generally enforce LHAMA requirements for tools for making art (like crushes, chisels, potter’s wheels, kilns, molds, and the like) or certain other types of items, and it referred sellers to the CPSC.gov website to learn more.
Etsy explained what sellers should know about LHAMA regulations, writing in part: “If you manufacture or repackage an art material, or a kit that contains art materials, you must make sure that a toxicologist reviews the art material’s formulation to determine whether it might cause chronic adverse health effects.”
But wait – there is a lot more sellers must know when selling items such as craft materials that are “toxic, corrosive, flammable, combustible, an irritant, a strong sensitizer, or if it contains certain chemicals, such as petroleum distillates”; require child-resistant packaging; or consist of cosmetics, which are “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.”
It also cited kits for preparing foods and restrictions on selling plants, seeds, bulbs, or soil.
Etsy wound up its article with a reference to its prohibited items policy and said it is the seller’s responsibility to understand and follow all relevant requirements.
Etsy has been publishing the Seller Handbook for a long time with practical advice and content – if you’re thinking of getting into a new area of sales or are researching other aspects of selling, it’s a good place to start your research.