Home > Regulations & Law > The Laws on Imported Toys

The Laws on Imported Toys

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 22 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Imported Toys Toy Legislation Children's

Any toy that is on sale in the UK has to meet essential safety requirements which have been laid down by toy legislation and set out in the Toy Regulations.

All toys, including imported toys (whether imported from an EU country of from further afield, like China) have to carry a CE Marking. This marking isn’t for consumers, but is a declaration from the manufacturer or their representative in the EU that the toy conforms to a list of essential safety requirements

The Toy Regulations apply to imported toys as well as any children’s toys that are made in the UK. They apply to the all toy stores and websites based in the UK who sell toys, too.

Toy legislation also says that any importer who imports toys from another EU member State, has to ensure that it only imports safe toys which carry the CE marking and other specified details.

What About Other Imported Items?

Some imported ‘toys’ and novelties which your children might play with aren’t covered by the specific toy legislation. There is a long list of what is and isn’t covered, available here:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file11286.pdf

Imported Christmas decorations and some dolls, puzzles and children’s jewellery don’t have the same level of protection from toy safety legislation, among other items, so although there are other safety laws that cover these items, it’s worth knowing that the law applies differently to some types of doll, for example.

The Regulations define a toy as: ‘any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age' – although this excludes the list of products mentioned above.

What is The CE Marking For and Can I Rely on it?

Actually, it’s not meant for consumers at all, although if you’re buying an imported toy it should still have the marking on it somewhere. Most toys bought in the UK are actually imported, so there has to be some way of ensuring their safety – not all countries have the same attitudes to quality or toy safety that we do in the UK.

The CE marking isn’t an indicator of quality either. It’s just there to show anyone who inspects the toys that the imported toy is intended for sale in the European Community and it shows that the toys satisfy the essential safety requirements.

A manufacturer of an imported toy has to satisfy all of the requirements and indicate somewhere on the toy that it has done so, so that the manufacturer can gain access to Community markets. It’s a trade symbol, and something that enforcement authorities such as trading standards will look for.

Having said that, if the imported toy doesn’t have a CE Mark – avoid it!

The Magnetic Toys (Safety) Regulations 2008

Brand new toy safety legislation was introduced in July 2008 which closes a gap in toy safety laws. The new regulations came into force on 21st July 2008, and they require all magnetic toys (imported or otherwise) to carry warnings about the dangers that magnets can pose if they are swallowed or inhaled by children.

The warning requirement applies not only to children’s toys which have only just been placed on the market but it applies retrospectively to all toys which were already on the market on 21 July 2008.

All imported toys have to be of exactly the same standard as toys manufactured in the UK and EU, and the laws that surround children’s toys are very strict – for good reason. It’s estimated that 80% or more of the toys we buy in the UK come from China alone, so there has to be a way of making sure that our children’s safety is paramount.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I purchased some octanauts toys from EBay recently. I didn’t realise until they came that they are really poor fake version. The plastic smells toxic and the toys broke within 10mins of being played with. They have come from Hong Kong and the packaging isn’t in English but is all in the style of Octanauts. I have contacted the seller for a refund. But am concerned about the toy safety and that they are selling fakes versions. What do I do?
Spanner - 22-Jan-18 @ 7:28 AM
I have a concern about the safety of a toy I bought on Go Groopie Website and would like to email someone about it.Can someone please email me a contact name and email address please
JH - 5-Jan-18 @ 4:43 PM
Undert the toy safety directive 2011 it states certain exclusions and xmas decs are amongst them. Yet in the Toy Safety Directive it shows pics of reindeer soft toy (xmas decs). When would you know when you can label as a xmas dec and maybe just do a part one, or when you would have to CE as a soft toy? Please can you give me a full explanation.
Lindylou - 3-Feb-12 @ 12:30 PM
is there any difference on was label shows NOT FOR 0-36 MONTHSor NOT FOR UNDER 3 YEARS ?? technically it seems they have the same meaning BUT which one is recently used for plush toys?
alev - 10-Jun-11 @ 9:46 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Julie
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    If a soft cuddly toy has the CE label does that automatically mean it will be safe for children under 3 years or does it need a…
    10 March 2020
  • Mark
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    With regards to childrens Puzzles, what safety cert do you need to pass?
    29 February 2020
  • Momo
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello, i would like to know please what are the "ce" conditions for outdoor toys please such as pickler triangle, ladders...…
    19 February 2020
  • Shibin
    Re: Toys: What Are My Consumer Rights?
    My son brought a flying aeeoplane in around 8bunks and with in 2hours it stoped working it was stoped all of the…
    18 February 2020
  • Chan
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi, I'm making dummy clips and teething rings with silicone beads and wooden rings. All the materials have been brought from A…
    11 February 2020
  • Crashburitto
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I have a thought if I provide a service which includes a play tent frame(EN71-1), foam mattress, tent cover made from material…
    10 February 2020
  • Researching
    Re: Toy Safety: What Does the Law Say?
    I am currently researching about safety regarding soft toys for children I have an idea for a design. But need to source…
    29 January 2020
  • sherk
    Re: Toys: What Are My Consumer Rights?
    I am really annoyed I went into a toy store to buy my daughter a dolly to notice, that all the good dollies such as baby…
    17 January 2020
  • Sara
    Re: What is This Toy Safety Mark?
    Hello I have just imported 1000 soft toys from a factory in China. We have sold these for many years but have always bought from…
    9 January 2020
  • loulou
    Re: What is This Toy Safety Mark?
    Hi, I've written children's books for 2-6 year olds and my latest one is about a dragon sprinking magic dream dust. If I sell or…
    5 January 2020