Fabian Demicoli

Amendment to Toy Safety Regulation

 This specific Legal Notice introduces new procedures for labeling and composition of chemicals in toys. As such, there is nothing new for "importers", except checking the additional labeling requirements for chemical toys (Schedule IV warnings). However, on a more general overview, perhaps it would be useful to note the following:

 

Legally speaking, where the CE-mark is involved, there are 4 different economic operators:

  • Lower energy costs
  • Reduce the impact on the environment
  • Make efficient use of natural resources
  • Manufacturer – the person who assumes all responsibilities for the product's safety and conformity. However, as we will see, he may not necessarily be the actual person who produced the product. He is defined as the person who places a product for the first time on the EU market (i.e. a specific item, even if this same product is already in the EU);
  • Authorised Representative – some Directives (the Toys Directive is not one of these) make it obligatory for manufacturers outside the EU to appoint an office (not necessarily manufacturing plant) to represent them in the EU and serve as a contact point with EU authorities;
  • Distributor – this is a person in the supply chain who is importing products in Malta from another EU Member State. His responsibilities are much less than the manufacturer and will be defined in the new Toys Directive next year (not this LN).
  • Importer – this is any person who imports an item directly from outside the EU. Importing for own use makes no difference in terms of responsibilities. In case of importers, the importer assumes all responsibilities of the manufacturer and every reference to "manufacturer" in the legal text becomes a reference to him.

Therefore, importers are strongly advised to check that all legal requirements have been fulfilled by the non-EU manufacturer before they commit themselves financially, otherwise the product will be halted either at Customs or later via Market Surveillance inspections (including complaints). In case of an incident caused by a non-compliant unsafe product, the importer would be held 100% liable since EU law applies only within EU territory, not to manufacturers outside the EU.

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