The ACCC is proposing a choice of four existing toy safety standards for toys containing magnets. Compliance to one of these standards is mandatory. Once registered, suppliers would (normally) have a 12-month transitional period to comply with these new standards.
In Australia, children’s toys are regulated by several mandatory safety standards. These mandatory safety standards, which address physical and mechanical properties, chemical properties and/or labeling requirements, include:
- Consumer Protection Notice No. 14 of 2003, as amended by Consumer Protection No. 1 of 2005 ‘Toys for children up to and including 36 months of age’
- Consumer Protection Notice No. 1 of 2009 ‘Lead and certain elements’ (this standard includes finger paints)
- Consumer Protection Notice No. 2 of 2009 ‘Flotation and aquatic toys’
- Consumer Protection Notice No. 5 of 2010 ‘Toys containing magnets’
- Consumer Protection Notice No. 16 of 2010 ‘Projectile toys’
The mandatory safety standards reference certain toy safety standards for compliance with the requirements. At present, toys containing magnets are subject to certain clauses falling under AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 and AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002/Amdt2:2009. Additionally, toys (and childcare articles) are prohibited if they contain more than 1% of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP, Consumer Protection Notice No. 11 of 2011).
On May 18, 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) circulated a notification from the Australian Competition and Consumer Protection (ACCC) announcing its proposal to update the mandatory safety standards for children’s toys containing magnets. The proposal, under WTO document number 20-3634, allows children’s toy containing magnets to comply with any of the following standards:
- AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2019 ‘Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties’
- ASTM F963-17 ‘Standard consumer safety specification for toy safety’
- EN 71-1:2014+A1:2018 ‘Safety of toys – Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties’
- ISO 8124-1:2018 ‘Safety of Toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties’
According to the WTO document, the proposed revision to the standards would be adopted on the day after registration and with a transitional period (normally of 12 months) for the date of entry into force.
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