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European Commission - Press release
Antonio Tajani in Rotterdam to check toy safety in the EU
Rotterdam, 23 June 2011 - Vice-President Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, is today at the harbor of Rotterdam to verify the opening of containers filled with toys that are daily checked to ensure that no harmful toys enter in the EU market. From 20 July manufacturers/importers need to respect strengthened safety requirements for toys imported in the EU. By this date, Member States will need to incorporate all requirements set by the new Toy Safety Directive adopted in 2009. Antonio Tajani, said: "I am delighted to acknowledge that the control measures are effective and provide a safe environment for our children; I am confident that both Members States and industry will help us in achieving this goal". The new rules fulfil the highest safety requirements world-wide, especially those relating to the use of chemical substances. It is particularly important that Member States will ensure enhanced market surveillance.
What will change with the new toys directive?
Strong national market surveillance systems
Obligations for toy manufacturers, importers and distributors
For more information on obtaining the CE marking and how Member States are ensuring market surveillance, see MEMO/11/448.
Five new safety requirements (these are the most important requirements toys need to respect): mechanical, physical, electrical, hygienical, chemicals.
New chemical requirements
For chemicals in particular, the new directive contains a ban of CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic) 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. Furthermore, if new scientific evidence is made available, the Commission can amend certain chemical provisions in order to be in line with the latest scientific evidence.
Enhanced safety requirements to prevent choking risks
Rules on toys and their parts to prevent children from choking or suffocating are strengthened. Toys in or co-mingled with food always need to be in a separate packaging. Toys which require the food to be consumed before getting access to the toy are prohibited.
Warnings on toys
Warnings need to be marked on toys in a clearly visible, easily legible manner in a language easily understood by consumers. Warnings that contradict the intended use of the toy are not allowed, in particular the warning “not suitable for children under 36 months” on toys clearly intended for this age group.
European toy safety campaign
In 2012, a European toy safety campaign will be organised in several Member States. The aim of the campaign is to increase economic operators ' awareness about the new rules that are coming into force, by providing specific seminars and training.