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Toy Safety Directive

Toys Safety Directive

Toys and games are vital tools for child development. Whilst manufacturers/exporters are responsible for the safety of their products, importers, notified bodies and national authorities all have a role to play in ensuring toys fulfill all safety requirements.

The Directive 2009/48/EC is the first sectoral Directive to incorporate and be aligned to the general framework for the marketing of products in the EU, the so called “goods package”. The new measures are meant to improve the warnings effectiveness in the prevention of accidents. Therefore, toys should be accompanied by clearly visible, easily legible and understandable warnings in order to reduce inherent risks of their use.

The Directive is intended to provide a common standard for the safety of toys throughout the whole of the European Economic Area (EEA). All toys which are sold within the EEA are required to meet the requirements of the Directive, and may be sold without subject to further local legal controls so long as they are legitimately CE (Community European) marked.

Important Deadlines-

  • 30 June 2009- Toys Safety Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
  • 20 July 2009- Directive entered into force.
  • 20 July 2011- General details of toys placed on the market are to be provided.
  • 20 July 2013- Chemical details of toys placed on the market are to be provided.

Scope of the Directive-

This Directive applies to toys defined as “products designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age”. This Directive shall not apply to the following toys:

  • playground equipment intended for public use;
  • automatic playing machines, whether coin operated or not, intended for public use;
  • toy vehicles equipped with combustion engines;
  • toy steam engines; and
  • slings and catapults.

The Directive recognizes the existence of a “grey zone” for the classification of products as toys. Annex I of the Directive presents a non‐exhaustive list of examples that are not considered as toys but that could be subject to confusion. These include:

  • Decorative objects for festivities and celebrations
  • Products for collectors, provided that the product or its packaging bears a visible and legible indication that it is intended for collectors of 14 years of age and above.
  • Sports equipment, including roller skates, inline skates, and skateboards intended for children with a body mass of more than 20 kg;
  • Bicycles with a maximum saddle height of more than 435 mm, measured as the vertical distance from the ground to the top of the seat surface, with the seat in a horizontal position and with the seat pillar set to the minimum insertion mark;
  • Scooters and other means of transport designed for sport or which are intended to be used for travel on public roads or public pathways
  • Electrically driven vehicles which are intended to be used for travel on public roads, public pathways, or the pavement thereof
  • Aquatic equipment intended to be used in deep water, and swimming learning devices for children, such as swim seats and swimming aids
  • Puzzles with more than 500 pieces
  • Guns and pistols using compressed gas, with the exception of water guns and water pistols, and bows for archery over 120 cm long
  • Fireworks, including percussion caps which are not specifically designed for toys
  • Products and games using sharp-pointed missiles, such as sets of darts with metallic points
  • Functional educational products, such as electric ovens, irons or other functional products operated at a nominal voltage exceeding 24 volts which are sold exclusively for teaching purposes under adult supervision
  • Products intended for use for educational purposes in schools and other pedagogical contexts under the surveillance of an adult instructor, such as science equipment
  • Electronic equipment, such as personal computers and game consoles, used to access interactive software and their associated peripherals, unless the electronic equipment or the associated peripherals are specifically designed for and targeted at children and have a play value on their own, such as specially designed personal computers, key boards, joy sticks or steering wheels
  • Interactive software, intended for leisure and entertainment, such as computer games, and their storage media, such as CDs
  • Babies’ soothers
  • Child-appealing luminaires
  • Electrical transformers for toys
  • Fashion accessories for children which are not for use in play.

Obligations of manufacturers/ exporters-
The manufacturers of toys have to comply with this obligation regardless of his location (within or outside the EU). This provision implies that toys sold without packaging or any accompanying documents, must bear the name and address of the manufacturer/exporter. A non-European manufacturer/exporter need to appoint an Authorized Representative to fulfill all the obligations on behalf of EU manufacturer.

Authorized Representative-

  • A manufacturer/exporter need to, by a written mandate, appoint an authorized representative.
  • The drawing up of technical documentation will not form part of the authorized representative's mandate.
  • An authorized representative will perform the tasks specified in the mandate received from the manufacturer/exporter. The mandate will allow the authorized representative to do at least the following:

(a) Keep the EC declaration of conformity and the technical documentation at the disposal of national surveillance authorities for a period of 10 years after the toy has been placed on the market;
(b) Further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide that authority with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a toy;
(c) Cooperate with the competent national authorities, at their request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by toys covered by the mandate.

General Provisions

  • When placing their toys on the market, manufacturers/EU exporters should ensure that they have been designed and manufactured with essential safety requirements (such as physical and mechanical properties, flammability, chemical and electrical properties, hygienicity listed in annex II of directive).
  • Manufacturers/EU exporters should draw up the required technical documentation and carry out or have carried out the applicable conformity assessment procedure.

  • Where compliance of a toy with the applicable requirements has been demonstrated by this procedure, manufacturers/exporters should draw up an EC declaration of conformity.
  • Manufacturers/exporters or their Authorized Representative should keep the technical documentation and the EC declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years after the toy has been placed on the market.

  • Manufacturers/exporters should ensure that their toys bear a type, batch, serial or model number or other element allowing their identification, or, where the size or nature of the toy does not allow it, that the required information is provided on the packaging or in a document accompanying the toy.
  • Manufacturers/exporters should indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the address at which they can be contacted on the toy or, where that is not possible, on its packaging or in a document accompanying the toy. The address should indicate a single point at which the manufacturer can be contacted.
  • Manufacturers/exporters should ensure that the toy is accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language or languages easily understood by consumers, as determined by the Member State concerned.
  • Manufacturers/exporters shall have to withdraw their products (Toys) from the market that consider or have reason to believe that a toy which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with the relevant legislation.
  • Manufacturers/exporters need to ensure that procedures are in place for series production to remain in conformity. Changes in toy design or characteristics and changes in the harmonized standards by reference to which conformity of a toy is declared should be adequately taken into account.

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