Thursday, January 17, 2013

handmade and the law

Polar Bear and Aurora LightboxThe One of A Kind Show is such a large operation that they have extensive paperwork and contracts for sellers. They of course have lawyers and need to protect themselves against liability. So, part of this paperwork includes informing sellers of pertinent regulations. I've been reading through these documents this morning and I've learned a few things. Officially, to be making pillows or stuffed animals (less than 1000 items per year), in Ontario, I am required to have a licence as a home hobby or craft operator, and to label these items with "New Material Only", my license number, and the content of the stuffing (in both official languages, of course). I have almost never seen this from small hand-makers. Perhaps luckily for me, I will only be selling art at OOAK.

The other concern I have from reading all this documentation is whether my lightboxes qualify as electrical devices and would require an inspection certificate. Also, I'd like to know how much that would cost, and whether it would be worth my while. I do know that the risk of fire or electrocution is nil... but I've been reading Electrical Safety Authority website all morning and frankly have no idea. Clearly, they did not design that site with one-person manufacturers in mind. There are CSA regulations for LED displays but it would only cost me $412 to READ them! (Yes, that was a sarcastic use of italics.) It's enough to make me think I should not sell anything powered at OOAK.

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