Brussels, 5 May 2008
European Commissioner for Consumers Meglena Kuneva today visited the LEGO toy company in Billund (Denmark), to discuss the important role of industry in ensuring toy safety. The visit comes in the run-up to the conclusion of a voluntary agreement, in which the European toy industry will engage in a common mission to spread best safety practices. The CEO of LEGO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp and Commissioner Kuneva discussed the company's approach to ensuring consumer safety and confidence, and exchanged ideas on how best practice can be promoted around Europe and in third countries. The visit comes on the heels of the publication of the 2007 report on the Rapid Alert System for non-food products (RAPEX), which revealed toys to be the most notified product last year (see IP/08/597).
Commissioner Kuneva said: "I am looking with industry at how they can spread best practice along the production and supply chain, for instance with regard to manufacturers' relations with sub-contractors, suppliers and distributors. LEGO and other members of the Toy Industry of Europe are important partners in my quest to make safety a priority and I am pleased to say they are fully on board. I look forward to the upcoming agreement with industry which will push forward the safety drive in Europe and across the world."
The visit to LEGO
During her visit to LEGO, Commissioner Kuneva had a chance to visit the production area and to see the company's test facilities. She was briefed on LEGO's product safety and testing programme, and discussed the day-to-day measures to ensure toy safety with LEGO experts. The Commissioner also went to the LEGO Idea House, which contains the history and heritage of the LEGO Group and an overview of products from the 75 years of the company’s history.
The Voluntary Agreement on Toy Safety
Commissioner Kuneva is working towards signing a voluntary agreement with representatives of European toy companies in May 2008. Through the agreement, industry will commit to spreading best safety practices throughout the sector and to harnessing expertise in the areas of training, education and cooperation with authorities. In a subsequent phase, the aim is to conclude a further agreement in the second half of 2008, which will target other important players in the toy sector such as importers and retailers.
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