Getting a US Safety Test for Your Board Game (CPSC)

What is the CPSC protocol?

Unlike the CE which has been around since the late 1980’s , in the USA a federal standard took longer to legislate. Only in 2008 did the federal government mandated that product need to conform to standards, and only in 2018 did they decide to enforce this protocol on manufacturers and importers.

If you want to learn about the CE test click here.

What safety standards does the CPSC have for board games?

On the whole the CPSC works on aligning their standards with the CE standards. The safety tests needed for board games are largely

1- Physical properties of the game – checking the accessibility of sharp corners, edges, and small parts

2- Chemical safety check mostly in regards for heavy metals used in the process of making paint, coating, paper, cardboard, plastic and other components.

3- Cleanliness of materials.

What are the differences between CPSC and CE test reports for board games?

Though the CPSC works on making their tests similar to the tests put forth by the CE, there are still some fine differences.

  1. The obligation to test toys by a third part is only for toys intended for kids under 12 years old.

  2. The CPSC outlines a specific amount of heavy metal and lead that can be used in a toy. Lead used for coating cannot pass the 90ppm, and lead for component such as paper and paint cannot surpass 100ppm.

  3. Checking for Cleanliness of liquids used is necessary for almost all types of games.

  4. Unlike in the CE, the CPSC demands to have contact information of the manufacturer on the game box, the date of manufacturing/assembly, and the city and country.

  5. The CPSC does not have a mandatory mark to put on the game, though it is getting popular to put the words “This product confirms to ASTM F963 tests”

How to label a board game according to the american safety standards

In this regard the CPSC is similar to the CE standards. The label should notify the users of the age appropriate for the game, clearly specify that it is not for the use of children under the age of 3, and state any hazardous warnings related to the game. Some common hazardous aspects are sharp edges and small pieces.

Download the label here

In addition, the CPSC states that the game should have the official and accurate details of the manufacturer on the box, as well as the date of production and the location.

How to make sure my game passes the tests.

Generally, you need to follow the manufacturing and the material used throughout the process. Then you need to send a couple of proof samples of your game to the testing lab for them to test your game before you mass produce it.

HeroTime assists and performs the testing and safety assurance for your game. HeroTime follows the following steps:

  1. Factory Technical Audit

  2. Product Design and recommendations (technical development BOM)

  3. Quality review with supplier (prototype testing, and checking raw material)

  4. Production

  5. Delivery – pre shipping inspection and verification test.

See what else we offer.

How much does a safety standard test cost?

  • The costs for testing the physical properties and cleanliness of the game are 115 USD per item.

  • Testing for flammability 70USD per item

  • Testing for heavy metals and lead is 105 USD per material or color.

In this regard item refers to a piece in the game, such as cards, rulebook, box, player board, wooden cylinders, wooden meeples etc. while material refers to all components made of the same material such as paper, wood, plastic and so forth. In regards to color each color of a piece even made from the same material needs a separate test, unless it is paper and cardboard which require only one test as they are printed with one sheet.

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