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New toy safety rules best in the world
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Published on 20-07-11 

New EU rules come into force across the EU today (20 July) to ensure Europe's children benefit from the highest level of toy safety in the world.

The new Toys Directive improves existing rules (replacing the 1988 Toy Safety Directive) and addresses a number of issues to ensure toys are free of any health hazards or will cause injury.

    The proud winners

    The proud winners

    New safety requirements

    Chemicals
    For chemicals in particular, the new directive contains a ban of CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive toxicity) substances, which may be used only under very strict conditions (for example, when they are completely inaccessible to children). The use of certain heavy elements and allergenic fragrances is strictly restricted. If new scientific evidence is made available, the Commission can amend certain chemical provisions to take these into account.
     
    Prevention of choking risks
    Toys mingled with food will always need to be in separate packaging and any food product which has to be consumed before getting access to the toy is banned.

    Warnings on toys
    Warnings need to be marked on toys in a clear, visible, easily legible manner and in a language easily understood by consumers. Warnings that contradict the intended use of the toy are not allowed, ie “not suitable for children under 36 months” on toys clearly intended for this age group.

    There will be responsibilities placed on toy manufacturers, importers and distributors.  For instance, before placing a new toy on the market, they will have to identify the hazards and the potential exposure to children via a safety assessment and manufacturers will also have to ensure traceability of toys.

    Currently, all toys marketed in the EU must carry a CE conformity marking, which is the manufacturer's declaration that the toy satisfies all essential safety requirements, but now the CE marking will also have to be on the packaging if the mark is not visible from outside.

    Member States will have to ensure that market surveillance authorities perform adequate checks both within the EU and at the external borders, as well as visiting traders' premises.  Any toys presenting a serious risk will be have to destroyed.

    Any toy manufacturers/importers/ distributors which fail to fulfil the safety requirements of the Directive will face penalties by the Member States' authorities.

    The Commission has prepared a toy safety guide for consumers.

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    Last update: 20/07/2011  |Top