Managing product registration cards can be tricky. Members often reach out for support around the product registration component of CPSIA.
Both the labs testing baby carriers and Registria, our card processing partner, have identified a number of areas where manufacturers and distributors sometimes overlook key details when preparing these cards. Here’s a straightforward guide to filling out product registration cards for your baby carriers or other products.
What are product registration cards?
A product registration card is a postcard that allows consumers to ensure the company has their contact information in case the product is ever recalled.
In the US, baby carriers are considered a “durable nursery product,” which means they are regulated by law. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, CPSIA, requires that there is a physical product registration card attached to each baby carrier in addition to an online product registration option.
The product registration card regulation can be complex to navigate. The cards must meet requirements for text size and layout, for instance. Postage must be prepaid by the manufacturer.
One of our most popular programs is our BCIA&Registria Product Registration Program, allowing our members to save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on product registration costs. We also offer this program to small US manufacturers and importers who are outside of the baby carrier industry.
What is covered in this tutorial?
This tutorial is specifically focused on product registration cards for baby carriers sold within the US. You can certainly utilize product registration cards in other countries, but our Product Registration Program addresses the CPSIA requirements for the United States.
These instructions are most relevant to BCIA Members who utilize the BCIA&Registria product registration program, but they can be applied to product registration cards generally.
It is not required in other countries though you can certainly attach cards for carrier destined for other countries anyway if you choose- but it is not a legal obligation outside of the US. This tutorial is specifically prepared to assist our members who use the BCIA&Registria Product Registration Service, but of course take from it what you need if you handle product registration in-house.
Do I need a US address and phone number?
The CPSIA requires that businesses use a US address and phone number. If you are an international business, you may consider utilizing a virtual US mailbox service. While we have not worked with them specifically, 1Postal1 is well-rated and affordable, starting at only $10/month.
Virtual mail services such as this one maintain your mail at their location. Many, like 1Postal1, offer a regular street address rather than a PO Box.
You’ll also need a US phone number. It’s not required that this number be staffed, but you should monitor regularly for voicemails. The BCIA, like many of our members, uses Google Voice as a free option for a virtual phone number, but there are many other services to choose from.
Product registration cards: the template
When you enroll in BCIA&Registria, we will send you a product registration template. This is a two page .pdf file with fields that must be edited with your company’s information.
When you print and cut these cards as specified, you will have a double-sided 5 inch by 8 inch “postcard” with a perforated center.
You can also purchase pre-printed product registration cards from the BCIA if you prefer to order in small quantities.
The cards MUST be perforated. (See the dotted line on the examples below.) If you are having a printer do your cards, make sure they perforate them for you. If you are printing off cards yourself, running the card through a sewing machine or using a simple perforation tool will get the job done (you can find these at craft, scrapbooking and office supply sources).
The front of the product registration card
This is the front of the product registration card.
The space in the green box is for your online registration link. The law requires you to create a specific online registration form and include that link in this space. Linking to your main homepage is not sufficient; you must link to the specific registration page.
The online registration page carries its own set of regulations, which can be found here. Don’t include any extras — you only want the specific wording as laid out in the regulatory requirements. The BCIA&Registria program has an optional online registration program you can enroll in. Registria will create and host a compliant online product registration page with no ongoing fees; you only pay a low per-registration fee.
If you don’t have a dedicated website or you are a Facebook/ Etsy/ local market etc. seller, you can use the BCIA&Registria service or use a dedicated email address instead. Those instructions are also included in the official regulation wording.
The space in the red box is where your your company name goes. Including your name on this card is vital. It allows Registria to associate your company’s product registration cards with the correct acccount. PLEASE make sure your company name is on the front of the card. Occasionally this detail is overlooked.
The back of the product registration cards
This is the back of the product registration card.
Enter the manufacturer/distributor’s contact details in the blue box. This is the portion of the card that the customer keeps for their records.
Sections 4 and 4.1
Pink box and pink underlines. The CPSIA regulations require that you pre-fill this information for your customers. This is where you enter detailed information about the baby carrier your customer has purchased. This includes the model name, number and manufacture date (which can be a batch code rather than an actual date). You must print this information on the registration card, on the baby carrier itself, and on the product packaging. The numbers must be the same in all three locations.
See how the same information is replicated on both portions of the card, top and bottom? That’s because the top half stays with the custome,r and the bottom half comes back to the card processor and is then returned to you via your collected card data. YOU, as the manufacturer/distributor are responsible for filling out this pink portion BEFORE your product goes out to your consumer. You cannot leave this space blank.
Attach the completed product registration card to each baby carrier you sell
Before you package up and send off your product, the product registration card MUST be attached to the carrier somehow. How you attach it is up to you — tied on with a ribbon, attached with a hang tag gun, Jetclips, safety pins, etc. But it must be attached somehow. It cannot be tucked into the instructions or laid on the product. Folding the card along the perforation is optional, although the perforation itself is a requirement.
This rule ensures that consumers are forced to notice and handle the product registration cards before using their baby carrier, wrap, or sling.
That’s it! Your product has a consumer-ready product registration card.
What other product registration requirements are there?
The product registration cards are only part of the product registration requirements for baby carriers. There are also specific rules about managing the registration data, both paper and online. BCIA&Registria can help with this process as well.
Want to learn more about baby carrier compliance or how to integrate the product registration cards requirements into a larger compliance plan? Check out our article on creating a robust product compliance plan.
*If you like what we do and find this information useful, please consider joining the BCIA today! Industry membership allows our organization to continue our mission.*