Fabian Demicoli

EU and China agree to improve toy safety


Since toys are for children, it is
important to have additional regulations to ensure safety. That's why the Netherlands
– one of the EU's main entry points for toys – has teamed up with China – one
of the EU's main sources of toy imports -signed an action plan called,
‘Cooperation in the field of toy safety'. The resulting collaboration will
promote toy safety and, by extension, promote child safety.

While the EU and China have been
collaborating on toy safety since 2002, the two sides formally agreed on an
action plan, ‘Cooperation in the field of toy safety‘, in Beijing on 25 October
2012. The signing parties were the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety
Authority (NVWA) and China's General Administration of Quality, Supervision and
Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Furthermore Rotterdam is one of the
EU's main entry points for toys, the Netherlands is integral to the European
toy market.  Hence this joint action
plan, which strengthens Chinese export controls and aligns them with Dutch
import controls, will further reduce the number of incompliant and unsafe toys
in the EU.

In practice, the joint action should
achieve seamless surveillance of the whole toy supply chain via close
cooperation between European market surveillance authorities and Chinese
exit-entry authorities. Product control will be improved by exchanging
information and linking control systems.

‘This pilot project is of fundamental
importance for the safety of toys in the EU, since many of our toys are
manufactured in China', European Commission's Director-General for Enterprise
and Industry, Daniel Calleja said. ‘This project should lead to a common
control system and a uniform interpretation of product standards for toys in
the EU and in China. Toys target the most vulnerable group of consumers, our
children, and improving toy safety is a key priority for the EU'.

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