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Toy Safety Directive


Toys contribute to child development and play is an essential part of growing up. However, toys have to be safe for children to play with. Ensuring that toys marketed in the EU do not put children at risk is a priority. EU legislation aims to ensure that toys meet safety requirements that are amongst the strictest in the world, especially in relation to the use of chemicals in toys.

Toy Safety Directive

  • For any product or material designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age. 

  • 2 main objectives: ensure that toys used by children are safe and to guarantee the smooth functioning of the internal market for toys.

  • The essential safety requirements cover,

    • General risks: the health and safety of children, as well as other people such as parents or caregivers

    • Particular risks: physical and mechanical, flammability, chemical, electrical, hygiene and radioactivity risks

  • Compared to the former Directive 88/378/EEC, the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC puts in place stricter requirements for chemicals;

    • Chemicals that are susceptible to cause cancer, change genetic information, harm fertility or harm an unborn child (so-called CMR substances) are no longer allowed in the accessible parts of toys beyond the concentration limits set in the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures, or unless they are considered safe following a rigorous scientific evaluation.

    • 19 so-called 'heavy elements' like mercury and cadmium are not allowed in toy parts accessible to children beyond the limits laid down in Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.

    • 55 allergenic fragrances have been banned. However, some of them, and another 11, may be used in certain toys provided that they are indicated on the label and comply with additional requirements.

  • All toys sold in the EU must carry a CE marking. This is the manufacturer's declaration that the toy satisfies the essential safety requirements. There are 2 possible conformity assessments allowing toys to be sold in the EU. The manufacturer has to demonstrate the compliance of a toy by;

    • self-verification by using the European harmonized standards

    • third party verification through a notified body


[1] ec.europa

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