Prosafe, a not-for-profit professional organization for market surveillance authorities and officers throughout Europe, has launched a two-year joint action in which it will partner with 35 market surveillance authorities from 27 European Union (EU) member states and European Free Trade Agreement countries. The action is intended to target non-compliant products in five categories, which include noisy toys.
Last year, toys were among the most common product categories to receive health and safety notifications in Europe, according to the European Commission’s 2014 Report on the Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Products (RAPEX). Toys led the most common product categories notified with 28 percent, though only 11 percent of the notified toys were subject to follow-up actions. According to the Toy Industry Association, the percentage of notified toys is not surprising, considering how toys are a particular focus for market surveillance authorities and represent a significant proportion of products examined by them.
The full 2014 RAPEX, which operates through a network of 31 countries that exchange information on non-food products, can be found online in .pdf form.
As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has published a free resource to help toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors comply with the legal requirements in the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.
The 35-page online guide, entitled Toy Safety in the EU, was published by TIE in cooperation with the European Commission as part of an education campaign financed by the EC. Available in English and French, the resource includes guidelines regarding technical documentation, safety and conformity assessments, EC declarations of conformity, European Conformity (CE) markings, packaging requirements, sample testing, and more. The document also includes tips, FAQs, definitions, and links to EC resources.
Questions from TIA member companies that export toys to Europe may be directed to Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 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.
According to Plastic & Rubber Weekly (PWR), the European Union’s (EU) Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks has advised the European Commission that safety assessments of plastic toys should consider overall risk and take account of their likely uses, rather than just focus on the toxicity of substances in the products. The advisory was issued following a request from the commission for guidance on the toys safety directive.