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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 products for Children need to conform to CPSIA standards. (The consumer product safety act), and only in 2018 did they decide to enforce this protocol on manufacturers and importers. Now at the beginning of 2021 Amazon requires every product sold to children to have a CPC (Children’s Product Certificate)

*a child is considered to be anyone under the age of 14

What safety standards does the CPSC have for board games?

Safety test for board game, On the whole, the CPSIA works on aligning its standards with the CE standards. but they do have some additional tests that are mandatory.

1- ASTM F963Physical properties of the game:

    Checking the accessibility of sharp corners, edges, and small parts

2- ASTM F963 Flammability test:

    Making sure your game is not flammable and does pose danger to kids who play it in warm areas of the house.

3- ASTM F963 – Soluble Heavy Metals tests:

    Mostly in regards to heavy metals used in the process of making paint, coating, paper, cardboard, plastic, and other components.

4- CPSIA Lead in substrate and coating:

    This test also includes the specific children’s lead test of ASTM F963, and the specific CA65 lead test for California.

(When testing it is crucial to add the later ASTM lead. and CA65 lead in the test report, though it is done together with the CPSIA lead test)

5- CPSIA Phthalates 8P :

    This test includes the specific California CA65 Phthalates, and like in the lead test, it should be specified and included in the test report.

6- CPSIA specific tracking label requirements

How to label a board game according to the CPSIA?

In this regard, the CPSC is similar to the CE standards. The label should notify the users of the appropriate age of players. Because, If it has small parts 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 CPSIA states that the game should have:

1- Manufacturer’s name

2- Production date

3- Batch number

4- Detailed location of production, Street, City, and Country

5- Importer / seller name

6- Importer / seller address

7- Importer/seller contact information (website is good enough)

8- It is not enough to find a factory with a previous CPC, the CPC must be specific for the game. and have the seller and manufacturer’s name on it as well.

* if you have a simple cards game with only a tuckbox you need to have one card with that information, as the CPSIA regards a tuckbox as a disposable package



How to make sure my game passes the tests?

Hero Time will make a few samples of your game first to send to the testing lab, and once you get the certificate. Hero Time will continue with mass production. If your game only has standard components. It is also possible to simply send games to the testing lab from the mass production.

How much does a safety standard test cost?

  • The physical properties, flammability, and labeling test for the whole game cost 95USD

  • The costs for testing heavy metals, lead, and phthalates P8, is 130USD per material and per color: for example, cards, playing board, punchout sheet, wood tokens of the same color, etc.

  • For plastic and wood components, there is an additional 130USD per color, as each color uses different substrates.

Saying that, heavy board games with multi-color miniatures and wood components are better off simply stating. and they are for the ages of 14 and up.


Which testing lab should you use?

Testing is not a matter to take lightly, That’s why in Hero Time we chose to work with one of the most known testing labs in the world Bureau Veritas

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