European Commission Updates EU Toy Safety Standards

EC.logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has reported that earlier this month the European Commission (EC) published a revised “Guidance Document on Technical Documentation” to help manufacturers and importers of toys in the EU demonstrate compliance with requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directive (TSD).

Revisions include a model letter that toy companies can use to remind suppliers about the need to provide a list of materials, chemicals, and components, as well as a model sub-declaration for suppliers to obtain a guarantee that the supplied parts and components have been assessed and comply with appropriate toy safety requirements. The updated guidance document can be viewed at the EC’s website.

The EC also amended restrictions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to include limits for allowable PAHs in rubber and plastic articles with prolonged skin or mouth contact. The new regulation goes into effect in two years.

UL-STR to Present Toy Safety Seminar on Regulatory Changes

UL-STR, an independent provider of quality assurance testing, audit, inspection, and responsible sourcing services for the consumer products industry, will present a toy safety seminar, Toy Safety—Implications of Regulatory Changes, on September 12 at its UK laboratory in Reading. The toy safety training event is part of an ongoing seminar series on the latest quality assurance issues.

The seminar will provide an update on changes in legislation that affect toy manufacturers and others in the toy supply chain who distribute products in the EU and North America. Topics will include: the EU Toy Safety Directive and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act; other overlapping regulations and requirements, such as the RoHS directive, the Cosmetics Regulation, and REACH; responsibilities of parties; and an update on supporting standards.

Keith Richards, technical director for European Toys and Children’s Products at UL-STR, who has over 25 years of experience in toy and consumer product testing, will lead the session. The session runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 12. To register, email QAenquiries@ul.com.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

France, Belgium Revise Chemical Restrictions in Foam Toys

While the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive (TSD) requirements regarding chemical contents in toys will come into effect next year, France and Belgium have recently elected to revise their individual, temporary restrictions on total content of formamide in foam toy “puzzle mats,” to be enforced until the TSD law  (Directive 2009/48/EC) comes into effect next July 20.

  • France has relaxed its rule, first published last July, restricting the total content of formamide in foam puzzle mats. As previously reported in Toy News Tuesday, France’s Official Journal of the French Republic (OJFR) previously restricted formamide in toys to 2mg/kg (ppm). The revised rule, published on August 5, restricts total content of formamide in toys to 200mg/kg (ppm) and no longer includes emission level restrictions.
  • Belgium has elected to enforce the Toy Safety Directive limit now instead of waiting until next year. The TSD bans the sale of puzzle mats containing more than 5000mg/kg (ppm) (0.5 percent) of formamide.

Typically, formamide may be present in foam mats as a plasticizer for ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), as a decomposition product of blowing agents used in the manufacture of foam products, or as a residual solvent from EVA resin manufacture. According to the French Agency for Food Safety, Environment, and Labor (ANSES), in the case of puzzle mats, children can inhale the chemical emitted by the mats into the air.

Directive 2009/48/EC, which strengthens the EU’s safety criteria for all toys produced domestically and imported from abroad, was officially implemented across each EU state on January 20, 2011. TSD requirements regarding chemical contents in toys will come into force next July 20. Prior to that date, regulations contained in the old Directive 88/378/EEC will continue to apply. The complete Directive 2009/48/EC is available on the Toy Industry Association’s website. Additional information can be found on the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission website.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.