Toy Updates: December 2019
Our toy experts explain some of the issues surrounding the following frequently asked questions:
- What do you need to know when placing products on the EU market?
- What happens when EU legislation changes?
- What about when CEN standards change?
What do you need to know when placing products on the EU market?
Toys placed on the market need to comply with relevant EU legislation.
“Placed on the market” is defined as “made available on the Community market for the first time.”
In principle, toys can only be placed on the market by a manufacturer or an importer. Further down the distribution chain, a toy is deemed “made available on the market”.
“Made available on the market” is defined as “supplied for distribution, consumption or use.”
What happens when EU legislation changes?
When legislation, such as the Toy Safety Directive, changes, there is normally a transition period allowing the sector time to adapt to the new requirements. During such a transition period, either the old or new legislation may be used to show compliance. After the transition period, toys that comply with the old legislation, but not with the new legislation, and that were manufactured before or during this period, may no longer be placed on the market. A toy that is placed on the market before the end of the transition period can be made available on the market. It is recommended that you check whether an existing toy will comply with the new requirements.
What about when CEN standards change?
The process for accepting standards is different to that for legislation. Standards, when first published by the CEN Standardization Committee, are voluntary. Before they can be used to show compliance with legislation they need to be harmonized. In this context, “harmonized” means approved by the EU Commission and the Member States and published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). Once published in the OJEU, they may be used to show compliance with legislation.
The OJEU provides a transition period to allow time for the new requirements to be adopted. During the transition period the old and new standard may be used to show compliance. After the transition period, toys that comply with the old standard, but not with the new standard, and that were manufactured before or during this period, may no longer be placed on the market. A toy which was placed on the market before the end of the transition period can be made available on the market.
Confusion may arise as there are two transition periods, which may be different:
- Transition period in the OJEU publication
- Transition period stated in the standard
For legal compliance, the transition period published in the OJEU should be followed.
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