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NBVA Launches Fundraising Effort To Fight CPSIA Labeling Requirements; BOSS Cancels Annual Fall Meeting

by Staff Reporter
Posted On: 6/1/2009

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National Bulk Vendors Association, Randy Chilton, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Jonathan Becker, bulk vending, vending, vending machine, vending route, vending business, coin-op, gumball machine, Steven Schechner

The National Bulk Vendors Association kicked off of a fundraising drive last month to aid a critical lobbying effort aimed at gaining industry exemption from a key component of the controversial Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. According to association officials, Section 103 of the CPSIA requires toy manufacturers to place permanent tracking labels on all products, listing the manufacturer, location and date of production, and "cohort" information such as batch or run numbers.

Enactment of the labeling requirement, scheduled to take effect Aug. 14, could present a uniquely insurmountable physical and financial burden for both bulk vending manufacturers and operators. Toy size makes labeling many bulk vendibles impractical, if not impossible, and costs incurred if a viable tagging process were available would likely raise wholesale prices well above industry standards. Unlike toys and other children's products sold through conventional retail channels, for which labeling represents a small fraction of the total cost and is often unnoticeably passed on to the consumer, labeling toys sold through bulk venders could raise wholesale prices 30% to 50% by some estimates. And the industry's chosen price points are largely the result of an existing physical infrastructure of hundreds of thousands of coin mechs.

The NBVA is seeking to raise at least $120,000 to fund the lobbying efforts of the Washington, DC-based law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. Leading the fight to exempt bulk vendibles from the Section 103 requirement is the firm's Quin Dodd, who had been chief of staff for acting Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Nancy Nord.

The association's fundraising effort is spearheaded by Jonathan Becker of L.M. Becker & Co., chairman of the NBVA's newly formed Toy Safety Committee. Fundraising efforts are taking a multilevel approach, with committee members reaching out to individual NBVA members, a mass email campaign and the formation of liaisons with industries outside bulk vending that face the similar problems under the new CPSC regulations.

Getting behind the effort are leaders of the BOSS organization, who announced suspension of its anual fall show. BOSS consists of small and midsize street operators who started up the Bulk Operators Super Show nine years ago.

"We regret that we have to cancel the annual event, but the BOSS group was founded on the principle that we are 'the real deal' and as such cannot ignore the economy and the state of the industry," said BOSS spokesman Steven Schechner of Capital Vending & Distribution (Florence, AL). "We are urging all our members -- and the vending community at large -- to contribute what they would have spent in attending our meeting to the NBVA's legislative fund instead. We have to protect our future and the money this year would be better spent on getting an exemption from the labeling provisions of the CPSIA."

The NBVA can be contacted by calling (888) NBVA-USA.