Selling handmade decorative gifts - Safety? Liability?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by frootbat, Aug 26, 2005.

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  1. frootbat

    frootbat UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I'm in the process of setting up a small business (its more of a hobby really) making and selling things made from polymer clay (Fimo). I just have a small 'niggle' which is worrying me and wondered if anyone knows the answer.

    I put bits of wire in some items to strengthen a particular part, is this going to be a problem?

    I make sure everything is made very well made and its very unlikely they'd fall apart, but I don't know what would happen if one did fall apart and exposed a wire!

    I've read some info on the Trading Standards websites and from what I understand it says I'll be liable for anything I sell, ornaments/decorations etc aren't for children so to clearly state that, but I can't find much other info.

    I'm sorting out my product liability insurance now as I know thats very important to have if you're making and selling craft items.

    Does it matter if something decorative has wires inside? its not a toy after all, but a child may still handle it, although the decorations are sturdy enough for their intended use but 'could' be broken under force.

    I'm worried as when I was reading about product liability insurance it stated 'bad workmanship' isn't covered - how do they decide what bad workmanship is? of course I'd make everything to the best of my ability but how do I know its 'officially' good enough?

    Any help or advice very welcome.
    Posted: Aug 26, 2005 By: frootbat Member since: Aug 26, 2005
  2. Jayne

    Jayne UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I had a simular problem with models I made for tops of cakes. I use to write on my cake boxes, this isn't a toy and should be kept away from children, contains xxxxx and is none edible, something like that. It just covers you if the worse does happen (hopefully never).

    Best Wishes

    Posted: Aug 26, 2005 By: Jayne Member since: Aug 6, 2005
  3. SillyJokes

    SillyJokes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    You are right to put emphasis on this Frootbat. Safety is an important issue.

    Talking with trading standards is always good. They can help you avoid problems in the future.

    I would have thought something that is sold as an ornamental decoration should be Ok - what about so many others like glass statues and spikey Christmas decorations?

    What trading standards might say is that if the object is attractive to children or might reasonably be given to children as in the case of a teddy bear ornament, even if not a toy, then you must take precautions to make it safe.
    Posted: Aug 27, 2005 By: SillyJokes Member since: Jul 26, 2004
  4. SuffolkDesigns

    SuffolkDesigns UKBF Old Timer Full Member - Verified Business

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    I cannot rememebr where I saw it but I though it quite amusing

    "Only for children aged 18 and over" :D
    Posted: Aug 27, 2005 By: SuffolkDesigns Member since: Jul 5, 2005
  5. frootbat

    frootbat UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks for the replies, you've given me more piece of mind. I'm looking at ways to make them stronger just in-case and I'll make sure I put the appropiate labeling on everything.

    Thanks again for your help :)
    Posted: Sep 1, 2005 By: frootbat Member since: Aug 26, 2005
  6. SmallBizSoftware

    SmallBizSoftware UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Posted: Sep 1, 2005 By: SmallBizSoftware Member since: Jul 8, 2005
  7. frootbat

    frootbat UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Yes, I've been looking into product liability insurance but need a few more quotes before I decide which to go for. Thanks for the link I'll will have a look when I've a bit more time.

    So I guess if I have any questions I can ask you!?
    Posted: Sep 2, 2005 By: frootbat Member since: Aug 26, 2005
  8. SmallBizSoftware

    SmallBizSoftware UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Happy to help where I can, PM any questions.
    Posted: Sep 2, 2005 By: SmallBizSoftware Member since: Jul 8, 2005
  9. JaneOwen

    JaneOwen UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi frootbat - I've only just spotted this thread so hope the following is in time to be of some use :)

    If you are making ornaments (i.e. not toys or other items that come under specific regulations) provided that your labelling is correct you should not encounter any problems. I'd need to ask some specific questions to be able to give you a definitive answer though :)

    There's some advice on my website which you might find helpful - it explains the General Product Safety Requirements in brief:

    If you'd like more information, please do give me a shout.
    Posted: Sep 15, 2005 By: JaneOwen Member since: Jul 28, 2005
  10. frootbat

    frootbat UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi Jayne

    Thanks very much for your help :) , I didn't realise there are people who can actually help with this sort of thing re: your website, very handy to know.

    I'm sure I'll be intouch at some point.
    Posted: Sep 18, 2005 By: frootbat Member since: Aug 26, 2005
  11. Su Lin

    Su Lin UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm afraid this is not so much a response as an extension of the current discussion. I too, am looking to set up a small business, but this time, selling handmade toys for adult collectors.

    I was initially under the impression that as long as I stated clearly that they are not intended for anyone under the age of 14, I wouldn't have to get them CE marked. Unfortunately, someone from trading standards has advised that due to the materials (they are made with socks, stuffing, thread, beads, buttons, etc with quite a lot of stitched-on detail - I suppose such attachments would clearly be choking hazards for children) they would most certainly be classified as toys regardless of how I label them.

    Due to the individual nature of the products, I find it difficult to see how CE marking can be possible if say, materials come from a range of sources and are therefore not uniform throughout the product range. Also, I understand that the items would not be suitable for children, but if they are legally considered toys, would I simply not be able to sell them at all in their current form? If there is still a way to do so legally, I would really appreciate some clear, idiot-proof advice. I've read as much legal material as I can find, but am still pretty confused about the details.

    If anyone is able to help, I'd be very grateful!

    Thanks a lot!
    Posted: Apr 24, 2009 By: Su Lin Member since: Apr 24, 2009
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