Today, the Commission proposed a Toy Safety Regulation revising the current rules to protect children from potential risks in toys. Toys put on the EU market are already among the safest ones in the world. The proposed rules will further improve this protection, in particular from harmful chemicals. They also aim at reducing the high number of unsafe toys that are still sold in the EU, especially online, increasing the level playing field between toys manufactured in the EU and imported ones. At the same time, they will continue to ensure the free movement of toys within the Single Market.
Building on the existing rules, today’s proposal updates the safety requirements that toys must meet to be marketed in the EU, whether they are manufactured in the EU or elsewhere. More specifically, today’s proposal will:
- Increase protection from harmful chemicals: The proposal not only maintains the current prohibition of substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMRs), but it also prohibits the use of other harmful chemicals in toys. The proposal targets chemicals that are particularly harmful for children. For instance, it will prohibit the use in toys of chemicals that affect the endocrine system (endocrine disruptors), and chemicals affecting the respiratory system or are toxic to a specific organ.
- Strengthen enforcement: The proposal ensures that only safe toys will be sold in the EU. All toys will be required to have a Digital Product Passport, which will include information on compliance with the proposed Regulation. Importers will have to submit digital product passports for all toys at the EU borders, including for those sold online. A new IT system will screen all digital product passports at the external borders and will identify the shipments that need detailed controls at customs. National inspectors will continue to be responsible for carrying out checks on toys. In addition, if there are unsafe toys presenting risks not clearly foreseen by the Regulation, the proposal ensures that the Commission has the power to require that these toys are taken off the market.
Toys are regulated by Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys. The existing Directive lays down the safety requirements that toys must meet to be placed on the EU market, irrespective of whether they are manufactured in the EU or in third countries. This facilitates the free movement of toys within the Single Market.
However, following an evaluation of the Directive, the Commission identified a number of weaknesses in the practical application of the Directive since its adoption in 2009. In particular, there is a need for a higher level of protection from possible risks in toys, specifically from risks posed by harmful chemicals. Also, the evaluation concluded that the Directive needs to be implemented more efficiently, particularly regarding online sales.
In addition, the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability called for strengthening the protection of consumers and vulnerable groups from the most harmful chemicals. As a result, the Commission is putting forward these new rules to ensure that only safe toys are sold in the EU.