Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I don't sell my amigurumis

I get a lot of people asking why I only sell amigurumi patterns and not the finished items. The simple answer is that I can't afford to.

You see, toy safety laws require that all toys sold in the UK must bear the CE marking. The CE mark is a declaration that the toy satisfies the essential safety requirements and has been manufactured in accordance with the relevant national standards. In order to find out if my amigurumis can be given a CE mark, I would either have to pay to have each design tested or pay for a copy of the BSI toy safety standards in order to self certify - either way I'd have to shell out a few hundred quid and still may not be able to sell anything.

So why don't I just add a disclaimer saying 'This is not a toy'? Well, the definition of a toy is "any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age" and it's worth noting that "any label or statement on, or with, an item indicating that it is not a toy, or is not intended for anyone under 14 years, would not necessarily be regarded as conclusive by enforcement authorities". These are direct quotations from the DTI's guidance notes on the UK Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995.

It is frustrating to be losing out on potential sales, but "supplying toys which are subject to the Regulations but do not meet their requirements would constitute an offence and could result in penalties of a fine of up to £5,000 or a term of imprisonment, or both". Worth the risk? I don't think so.

If you enjoy crochet though, you can make as many amigurumis as you like for whoever you like - the Regulations only apply to toys that are bought and sold, not to ones that are given away. :)

Incidentally, my pattern for the birdies above is available on Ravelry for free - enjoy!

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