Are your toys manufactured to the latest safety requirements?
British Standards publishes a range of important safety standards that will help manufacturers, designers and suppliers ensure that toys and cycles sold in the European Community are safe for children to play with. Research shows that safety is the most important factor that parents consider when purchasing toys (source: BMRB/Mintel).
Revised Toy Safety Directive
By 20th July 2011 all Toys must comply with the new Revised Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC. 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 laid out in the Directive . It should be noted that this is a major revision and includes significant changes including chemical and substances restrictions impacting both the industry and enforcement agencies.
The Directive becomes law on 20th July 2011, with the exception of changes to chemical requirements which will apply from 20th July 2013.
The Revised Toy Directive
The aim of this Directive is to give consumers assurance that toys sold in the EU fulfil safety requirements especially those relating to use of chemical substances. The Directive lays down the safety criteria or essential requirements which all toys must meet during manufacture and before being placed on the market. They must in all cases also comply with the relevant Community legislation. (For the UK The Toy Safety regulations 1995).
However it should be noted that the CE mark is not a mark of quality but of conformity to EU requirements. It is used to indicate that the toys are entitled to access to EU markets. The EN 71 series are standards which provide toy industry professionals with the means to ensure their products fulfil the highest safety requirements
The Toy (Safety) Regulations 1995
In the UK, the EU Directive for Toy Safety is enforced by the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995. The directive states that all toys supplied in the EU must meet essential safety standards and carry the CE mark to certify that this is the case. They must also be accompanied by the name and address the manufacturer or his authorised representative who first placed the toy on the market.
View the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995.
To whom do the regulations apply?
The regulations apply to manufacturers, importers, retailers, hirers and suppliers of new and second-hand toys - or anyone supplying toys in the course of any business. Toys distributed free of charge are also covered.
Further useful information for industry, parents and childcare professionals can be obtained from http://www.btha.co.uk
The BS EN 71 series
BS EN 71 Safety of Toys is a series of standards in 11 parts. It aims to make toys safer to play with, and to help manufacturers meet the safety requirements set out by the EU Directive for Toy Safety.
The BS EN 71 series is currently being revised to bring it in line with the Revised EU Directive. By complying with BS EN 71, toy industry professionals can ensure their products are safe for children to play with.
Why is BS EN 71 important?
Enforcement authorities have powers to remove unsafe toys from the market and bring prosecutions. Supplying unsafe toys can result in a fine of up to £5,000, or a prison sentence of up to six months, or both. By complying with BS EN 71, toy industry professionals can ensure their products satisfy safety requirements and that toys sold into the EU are safe for children to play with.
BS EN 71 is a comprehensive series of standards that includes:
- age warning labelling
- safety symbols
- outdoor and indoor play equipment
- testing and analysis of toy materials
- organic chemical compounds.
Who should use BS EN 71?
- Toy manufacturers
- Toy importers and exporters in the UK and overseas
- Enforcement authorities
- Test houses
Due to the significant changes in the new EU Directive BSI are currently working with the other member states to revise the EN71 series in line with the new Directive. The revised standards will ensure that those using the EN 71 series will be complying with the new requirements and more importantly, ensure toys on the market are safe for children to play with. Not only can unsafe toys be removed from the market but enforcement authorities can bring prosecutions resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 or a prison sentence, potentially both.
CE marking is used to indicate that the toys are entitled to access to EU markets; it is not a mark of quality, aimed at consumers