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EU and China agree to improve toy safety

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Because toys are for children, it is important to have additional regulations to ensure safety. That’s why the Netherlands – one of the EU’s main entry points for toys – has teamed up with China – one of the EU’s main sources of toy imports –signed an action plan called, ‘Cooperation in the field of toy safety’. The resulting collaboration will promote toy safety and, by extension, promote child safety.

While the EU and China have been collaborating on toy safety since 2002, the two sides formally agreed on an action plan, ‘Cooperation in the field of toy safety‘, in Beijing on 25 October 2012. The signing parties were the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and China’s General Administration of Quality, Supervision and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Because Rotterdam is one of the EU’s main entry points for toys, the Netherlands is integral to the European toy market. And this joint action plan, which strengthens Chinese export controls and aligns them with Dutch import controls, will further reduce the number of incompliant and unsafe toys in the EU.

In practice, the joint action should achieve seamless surveillance of the whole toy supply chain via close cooperation between European market surveillance authorities and Chinese exit-entry authorities. Product control will be improved by exchanging information and linking control systems.

Dutch Acting Inspector General Freek van Zoeren of the NVWA and AQSIQ Vice Minister Sun Dawei signed the agreement in the presence of Minister Zhi Shuping and the European Commission’s Director-General for Enterprise and Industry, Daniel Calleja.

‘This pilot project is of fundamental importance for the safety of toys in the EU, since many of our toys are manufactured in China’, Calleja said. ‘This project should lead to a common control system and a uniform interpretation of product standards for toys in the EU and in China. Toys target the most vulnerable group of consumers, our children, and improving toy safety is a key priority for the EU’.

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