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Frequently asked questions

Is my product a toy?

The definition of a toy in Directive 2009/48/EC has to always be the basis for deciding whether a product is a toy or not.

Annex I enumerates examples of products that are not considered as toys but could be confused with toys. Since it would be impossible to enumerate all the products that are not considered as toys, the list is naturally not exhaustive. A contrario interpretation should not be drawn from it, that is, if a particular product is not mentioned in the list, it does not mean that it is automatically a toy.

The main difficulty of the definition of a toy is the concept of "use in play" or "playing value". Virtually, everything has playing value for a child, but this does not make every object fall into the definition of toy. To be considered as a toy for the purpose of the Directive, the playing value has to be introduced in an intended way by the manufacturer. The declaration by the manufacturer of the intended use is a criterion to be considered since it figures in the wording itself. The reasonable expected use is considered to prevail over the declaration of intended used by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer labels the products as not being toys, he has to be able to support this claim.

Guidance document No 4 gives further indicative criteria that need to be considered for the classification of a product as a toy.

Furthermore, several guidance documents have been drafted for the classification of specific products.

Where can I find toy standards?

Reference to the harmonized standards for Toys can be found on our standardisation page.

All CEN/CENELEC (draft) publications can be purchased from any of the National Members and some of the Affiliates.

When do I need an EC type certificate?

Toys shall be submitted to EC type examination:

  • where harmonised standards, the reference number of which has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, covering all relevant safety requirements for the toy, do not exist;
  • where the harmonised standards referred to in point (a) exist but the manufacturer has not applied them or has applied them only in part;
  • where one or more of the harmonised standards referred to in point (a) has been published with a restriction;
  • when the manufacturer considers that the nature, design, construction or purpose of the toy necessitate third party verification.

Information on the harmonised standards and their restrictions can be found under our standardisation page.

Who draws up the EC declaration of conformity?

It is the manufacturer who draws up the declaration of conformity, not the notified body.

Other Questions & Answers about Toy Safety

Below is a compilation of a Q&A session held in Shenzhen, People's Republic of China, by the European Commission (Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General) and Toy Industries of Europe, on 10 January 2012.  The original wording of the questions has been kept.  The answers reflect the state of play of applicable legislation and standards as of 10 January 2012.  Please be aware that since that date, both the applicable legislation and the standards have been updated.


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