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Toys play a crucial role in the development of high-level skills such as decision-making and creativity during a child’s development. It is important that every modern-day parent purchasing a toy knows that the product meets the legal and other applicable safety standards.

 

Over the last few years, legislation was enacted in a number of countries and territories around the world. Each piece of legislation has its own set of specific requirements, which make the distribution of toys on a global level much more complex and difficult. These challenges, including technical and process requirements, require both manufacturers and importers to keep abreast with market developments and requirements, in their quest to distribute toys to multiple markets around the world; in particular to markets with very different specifications.

Current Requirements in Major Markets

The two major toy markets are the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). Toys destined for the EU, must conform to the toy safety Directive 2009/48/EC, the Community-wide legislation, and member state regulations. Toys entering the US, must meet the federal requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) and any other rules as enacted by any particular state or county.

In the last two years, some states and counties in the US have implemented safety laws for toys (and children’s products) that were evidently beyond the CPSIA. In New York State, the county laws of Albany, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester were technically more stringent than the federal requirements. At the state level, rules for reporting hazardous chemicals were enacted in Maine, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

In recent years, Indonesia implemented a safety law to mandate the use of Indonesian National Standards (SNI) and EN71-5 for phthalates, as well as certification for toys entering the market. The technical specifications for toys entering the Gulf States (Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) and Egypt are similar to those for the EU, but with certain national deviations. Toys entering the Customs Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia) have a set of unique standards, including mandatory testing and certification. It is important to understand which requirements and regulations are required to be taken into account for different markets to avoid costly mistakes. The laws governing toys entering Brazil, Minnesota and the markets described above are summarised in Table 1.

Table 1: Toys regulations in major markets

Item Jurisdiction Legislation
1 Brazil Portaria No. 321 of 29 October 2009
Portaria No. 369 of 27 September 2007 ‘phthalates’
Portaria No. 459 of 10 October 2014 ‘laser toys’
2 Customs Union Technical Regulations of the Customs Union TP TC 008/2011 ‘Safety of Toys’
Customs Union Commission Decision of 23 September 2011 N 798 ‘Safety of Toys’ (Amended 12 December 2012)
3 Egypt Ministerial Decree No. 134/2014 mandating Standard ES 7093/2014 ‘Essential Requirements for Safety of Toys’
4 European Union Directive 2009/48/EC
5 Gulf States GCC Technical Regulation on Children’s Toys BD 131704-01
6 Indonesia Regulation Number 24/M-IND/PER/4/2013 ‘Use of SNI standards for toy safety’
7 USA Federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA)
8 USA State CONNECTICUT: ‘State Child Protection Act’
MAINE: ‘Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products’
MINNESOTA: ‘Flame Retardant Chemicals in Children’s Products’
OREGON: ‘Toxic Free Kids Act’
VERMONT: 18 V.S.A. Chapter 38A (chemicals of high concern to children, CHCCs), Act 188 (2013-2014)
VERMONT: 9 V.S.A. Chapter 80, Regulation of octaBDE, pentaBDE, decaBDE, and the flame retardant known as TRIS in consumer products, Act 85 (2013-2014)
WASHINGTON: ‘Children’s Safe Product Act’
9 USA New York County ALBANY, ROCKLAND and SUFFOLK ‘Toxic-Free Toys Act’
WESTCHESTER ‘Children’s Product Safety Act’

Why is SGS the Best Partner?

SGS has an international team of professional experts with a comprehensive knowledge of toys for these newly regulated markets

  • We have a full range of services to assist you, should you need to check products against legislative standards, retailer requests, or for your own peace of mind and brand protection
  • Services can be customised to suit your needs and budget
  • We have approved and/or designated labs for different markets
  • Our global network delivers consistent and coherent testing, certification and verification services to facilitate the entry of your products to international market.
  • You can watch podcasts that examine the regulatory landscape in more detail for: Japan and Indonesia.

For further information about SGS toy services, visit our website, contact your local representatives, or our global experts:

Sanda Stefanovic
Senior Toy Expert
SGS Netherlands BV
t: +31 181 694517

HingWo Tsang, Ph.D.
Toys and Juvenile Products
Information and Innovation Manager
SGS Hong Kong Limited
t: +852 2774 7420