Fabian Demicoli

Consultation: Amendment on the Safety of Toys Regulation

 BACKGROUND

Directive 2009/48/EC was published in the Official Journal of the EU on the 30th June 2009. As from 20th July 2011, this Directive repeals the current Safety of Toys Directive 88/378/EEC, which was transposed under Maltese law as Legal Notice 373 of 2002.

 

KEY POINTS PROPOSED FOR REVISION

The overall objectives of the amendment is to ensure the highest level of safety for toys placed on the EU market and reinforce obligations on economic operators, notified bodies and authorities. The new Directive significantly updates the current regulations with the aim of providing a higher level of safety for toys.

Amongst the main changes are:

Clarified and reinforced obligations on economic operators involved in the supply chain from manufacturer to distributor. Economic operators must ensure that toys are safe and legally compliant before the toys are placed on the market (in particular, refer to Regulations 4 to 8 of the draft text);

Provision that toys must remain safe not only at the point when they are placed on the market, but also throughout their expected lifetime;

Warnings are now required to be presented to the consumer before purchase, even for on-line purchasing;

New warnings for toys in food, non-functional imitations of protective equipment, and use of fragrances (Schedule VII);

The Declaration of Conformity will become mandatory for all toys. The Declaration of Conformity must now contain a clear colour image of the toy (Regulation 12 and Schedule V);

Reinforced requirements on Notified Bodies – the private entities that test toys during the manufacturing stage (Regulations 16 to 18);

The concept of the precautionary principle is introduced – this means that Member States will be allowed to take restrictive actions as soon as they are suspicious on a particular toy (Regulation 20);

Reinforced obligations on market surveillance authorities (Regulation 20);

Reinforced requirements to prevent strangulation, asphyxiation and suffocation, in particular for toys co-mingled with food (such as chocolate eggs or snacks containing toys) (Schedule I, part I);

Certain carcinogenic, mutagenic and chemicals toxic to reproduction (CMRs) have been banned from use in toys, unless they are inaccessible to children or in quantities considered to be acceptable by other legislation governing safety of chemicals  (Schedule I, part III);

55 allergenic fragrances have been restricted (cannot exceed 100mg/kg). 11 other allergenic fragrances are listed as being allowed for use in toys as long as their presence is included in the label of the toy (Schedule I, part III);

Stricter migration limits for 19 heavy metals such as aluminium, arsenic, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc (Schedule I, part III);

In terms of hygiene, soft toys (textile toys) need to be washable, unless they contain a mechanism that can be damaged by water (Schedule I, part V);

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED?

Manufacturers, Authorised Representatives, Notified Bodies, Importers, Distributors and Users of toys.

WHAT PRODUCTS WILL BE AFFECTED?

Products considered as toys under the new revised definition (Regulation 2).

DEADLINE FOR FEEDBACK

Feed back to arrive at our offices by 23rd December 2010.

CONTACT DETAILS

Feedback or requests for clarifications are to be addressed to:

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