Selecta exits U.S. market over cost concerns
By Staff -- Playthings, 12/5/2008 1:52:00 PM
COSTA MESA, Calif.—Citing the increased cost of doing business under the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, German wooden toy maker Selecta Spielzeug will end distribution of its playthings in the U.S. effective Dec. 31, 2008.
According to a statement released by Europlay Corp., U.S. distributor for both Selecta Spielzeug and doll maker Käthe Kruse, meeting CPSIA’s new standards would necessitate an increase in Selecta’s product prices “by at least 50 percent, which would price these products out of the market.”
Selecta currently ensures its products comply with European EN71 and ASTM standards. Its decision to exit the U.S. market, the company stressed, “is based solely on costs; there have not been any issues with successfully completing the testing and certification process.”
“Selecta would like to thank the 1,200 US retailers carrying Selecta products and regrets the necessity of this decision,” said Matthias Menzel, Selecta Spielzeug’s managing director, in a statement released today.
Among the higher costs Selecta said were associated with meeting the CPSIA’s new guidelines were those related to testing procedures for products shipped to the U.S. that are “different than the testing procedures required for the rest of the world, resulting in separate testing for each product destined for the USA”; new shipment labeling regulations that “significantly increases the labor associated with shipping”; and product liability insurance increases "due to changing regulations and their varied interpretations."
Europlay will continue to distribute Käthe Kruse products in the U.S.