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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 19 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Toy Safety Safety Standards Toys Uk Toy

All toys supplied in the UK must meet a list of essential safety requirements which are set out in the Toy (Safety) Regulations 2011 (previously the Toy Safety Regulations 1995 - updated in 2010 - and now revoked) and to prove that these requirements are met, all toys should also carry a CE Marking.

What is the Purpose of a CE Mark?

The purpose of a CE marking is not actually to certify to you that a toy is safe to buy, it’s predominantly there for the authorities who regulate toy safety in the UK, and it’s designed to show them that the toy is intended to be sold within the European Community and that it conforms to a list of essential safety requirements.

Having said that, if there is no CE Mark then you are better off not buying the toy, because you won’t know whether the toy has been made according to EU toy safety regulations without it.

British Toy Safety Standards – and EN71

There are seven British Standards which apply to toy safety standards, in addition to a separate standard which covers the electrical safety of toys.

Toy regulations in the UK are governed by a Europe-wide toy safety standard EN71 which governs the safety all toys sold in the UK and within the European Union. These toy safety standards have been in place since 1990, and were updated in 1995.

EN71 covers the safety standards for all toys for children up to the age of 14 - products that are not intended as toys but look like toys (e.g those made for decorative purposes) are still included under the directive. It also divides toy suitability into age ranges and warnings for toys that are unsuitable for children under three. The legislation is in six parts and covers aspects of safety that include flammability, toxicity and safety marking.

If any toy is found to be unsafe according to the regulations, then the producer can be found guilty of a criminal offence. The producer can claim that in principle all reasonable steps were taken to ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away. All member states are automatically notified that there is an unsafe toy, and the toy is recalled.

What Types of Toy are Excluded from Toy Safety Legislation?

Some types of novelty can be excluded from UK toy laws – and these are:

  • fashion jewellery for children
  • Christmas decorations
  • sports equipment.

Although these exclusions can make the toy safety situation look more complicated, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference because even though they are not classified as toys, they must still comply with all the other UK consumer safety legislation, namely the Consumer Protection Act 1987.There is also an EU wide General Product Safety Directive which provides safety standards for physical and mechanical properties.

  • flammability
  • chemical properties
  • electrical properties
  • hygiene
  • radioactivity.

What Should I do if I think a Toy is Unsafe?

If you have bought a toy for your child which has caused an injury, or if you have reason to believe that it might even be in breach of the toy safety regulations it’s a very serious matter. You should contact your local Trading Standards office straight away so that they can take the toy and carry out tests, and if necessary arrange for the toy to be recalled.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I've hunted high and low for a definative answer. I'm looking at manufacturing a card game (made in China) and the same spec as a normal deck of cards, just with different pictures. I have found some card games in shops with the CE mark and some without the CE Mark. My game is aimed at people 4yrs + (to adult). So my question is .... Do I need a CE mark or not? I'm only looking at selling in UK at present. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
JodyP - 19-Aug-17 @ 3:06 PM
Hi. I paint wooden peg dolls and I'm just wondering if I use CE tested paint and sealant do I need to have them retested or does the original CE mark cover me. Thank you
Peggy - 18-Aug-17 @ 6:46 PM
ToysAdvice - Your Question:
cookie2018 - Your Question:
Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks, handles, beads and everyday items to explore, touch and play with.i wanted to sell them on the facebook buy and sell sites locally but was informed they would need ce mark, how would I go about doing this
.
Our Response:
There are various tests that you must carried out for toys in order to display the CE mark. You can find details of the testing standards in libraries (you can do most of the testing yourself), or you can asking a testing firm to do the testing on your behalf.
ToysAdvice - 18-Aug-17 @ 12:18 PM
cookie2018 - Your Question:
Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks, handles, beads and everyday items to explore, touch and play with.i wanted to sell them on the facebook buy and sell sites locally but was informed they would need ce mark, how would I go about doing this

Our Response:
There are various tests that you must carried out for toys in order to display the CE mark. You can find details of the testing standards in libraries (you can do most of the testing yourself), or you can asking a testing firm to do the testing on your behalf.
ToysAdvice - 18-Aug-17 @ 11:51 AM
Donna- Your Question:
Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please could you advise me which? Thank you

Our Response:
Teethers need to comply with BS EN-71. Copies of the standards are available in most libraries.
ToysAdvice - 18-Aug-17 @ 10:59 AM
Hello, looking to import a branded soft toy as a one off, to be given to adults and client is happy to label it 'not for children' do i need EN71? thanks!
Soft Toy Man - 17-Aug-17 @ 1:03 PM
Hi I'm looking at making and selling teething necklaces? Do they need testing? What do I need to purchase to insure I'm covered and roughly how much am I looking at? Thank you
Clo - 17-Aug-17 @ 11:20 AM
hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks, handles, beads and everyday items to explore, touch and play with. i wanted to sell them on the facebook buy and sell sites locally but was informed they would need ce mark, how would i go about doing this
cookie2018 - 16-Aug-17 @ 8:03 PM
Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please could you advise me which? Thank you
Donna - 16-Aug-17 @ 5:17 PM
wendy - Your Question:
Hello I make little brooches. They are handcut from pine wood and sanded and painted with acrylic paints before being varnished and adding metal brooch bar to the back. Do I need to test these or are they exempt? what tests would I need to do please. I market them to adults but they are cute and would appeal to children also. I am worried as they have a brooch pin on the reverse and there is no way around this as all brooches have a metal pin on the back. do I need to test

Our Response:
If they're not toys they do not need testing. Fashion jewellery for children is also exempt from the toy safety standards.
ToysAdvice - 16-Aug-17 @ 2:11 PM
Al - Your Question:
I am looking at making and selling cushions aimed for children , can you please tell me if they need to be covered by safety standards? Thank you

Our Response:
Yes cushions must meet all the fire safety regulations and if they are played with by children must meet toy safety standards.
ToysAdvice - 16-Aug-17 @ 12:09 PM
doll advice - Your Question:
Hi, I make reborn vinyl dolls from kits that are safety tested.I want to know what are the Eu safety standards,and what I need to ensure to comply.

Our Response:
Most libraries have a copy of the EN standards as they are quite expensive to buy.
ToysAdvice - 15-Aug-17 @ 12:56 PM
Hello I make little brooches. They are handcut from pine wood and sanded and painted with acrylic paints before being varnished and adding metal brooch bar to the back. Do I need to test these or are they exempt? what tests would i need to do please. I market them to adults but they are cute and would appeal to children also. I am worried as they have a brooch pin on the reverse and there is no way around this as all brooches have a metal pin on the back. do i need to test
wendy - 14-Aug-17 @ 10:41 PM
I am looking at making and selling cushions aimed for children , can you please tell me if they need to be covered by safety standards? Thank you
Al - 14-Aug-17 @ 1:14 PM
Hi, I make reborn vinyl dolls from kits that are safety tested.I want to know what are the Eu safety standards,and what i need to ensure to comply.
doll advice - 13-Aug-17 @ 2:44 PM
Lpen - Your Question:
I'm looking to sell play mats which also serve as toy storage. Not sure if this needs testing?

Our Response:
Toys are defined as "products that are designed or intended (whether or not exclusively), for use in play for children under 14 years of age." so yes it would probably need to be tested.
ToysAdvice - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:18 PM
I'm looking to sell play mats which also serve as toy storage. Not sure if this needs testing?
Lpen - 8-Aug-17 @ 9:46 AM
Ness - Your Question:
Hi I am selling fake Formula milk bottles for reborn dolls and stated that it's not intended for play and for display purposes only, and not for children under 14, but would like to sell for children to play as had quite a few comments asking this, what do I need to do so I can take that off my advert and sell for play.

Our Response:
You will need to get the product tested so that it complies with the relevant standards. Please see the other advice on our website. There are also companies that can do the testing for you.
ToysAdvice - 4-Aug-17 @ 1:01 PM
Bet - Your Question:
Hi Can you tell me is toy storage boxes as classed as toys and fall in this category. I have been getting mixed messages from a number of testing companies.

Our Response:
Toy chests are covered by safety standards EN 71-1:2011 Safety of toys - Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties. EN 71: 1-14 Safety of toys. Take a look at this Document from Child Safety Europe
ToysAdvice - 3-Aug-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi I am selling fake Formula milk bottles for reborn dolls and stated that it's not intended for play and for display purposes only, and not for children under 14, but would like to sell for children to play as had quite a few comments asking this, what do I need to do so I can take that off my advert and sell for play.
Ness - 2-Aug-17 @ 8:37 AM
Hi Can you tell me is toy storage boxes as classed as toys and fall in this category. I have been getting mixed messages from a number of testing companies.
Bet - 31-Jul-17 @ 10:09 PM
Sooty - Your Question:
Hi As some toys only have the ce printed on their box and not the toy itself i.e. fisher price would I be fined for selling these in a charity shop with jo box or is the name of the brand who makes the toy printed on it a type of ce mark.Thanks

Our Response:
Here's what the regulations say:
Depending on the specifics of the directive that covers your product, you must make sure that the CE marking is placed onto the product or to its data plate - if this is not possible or not warranted because of the nature of the product, it must be placed onto the packaging and accompanying documents
ToysAdvice - 31-Jul-17 @ 12:47 PM
Hi As some toys only have the ce printed on their box and not the toy itself i.e. fisher price would i be fined for selling these in a charity shop with jo box or is the name of the brand who makes the toy printed on it a type of ce mark. Thanks
Sooty - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:16 AM
I am getting ready to move to a smaller house. I have an attic full of unbuilt plastic model kits dating from recent back to the 1950s and I have been trying to give them to various charity shops, but none will take them as they do not have CE marks. I tell them that the regulations say that second-hand toys do not need CE marks but they all say that they cannot sell them without CE marks. I cannot sell them on ebay to give the money to charity because many of the boxes are too big to post at a reasonable cost. They really need to be sold in a shop. My local hobby shop buys and re-sells second-hand kits, so why won't a charity shop take them?
Bill - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:38 PM
I am looking for safety test packs for fabric books/quet books/montessori books. The aim group is children of 3-7 years old. Due to a big number of small parts it is not suitable from birth therefore I do not think such books should be considered as soft toys. Any ideas what toys category do they relate to? Thank you!
ElenaDire - 16-Jul-17 @ 9:33 PM
Hi, I'm looking for information and requirements of testing a microwaveable warmer that that looks like an animal.
KF - 10-Jul-17 @ 2:51 PM
Re your comment on 16 June - Conformance do sell a Handmade Toys pack which covers hard toys.Not sure what you are saying re the Soft Toy pack, there is one (not two?) covering soft fabric, knitted and crocheted toys and all the testing we're required to undertake.
Sue - 10-Jul-17 @ 7:26 AM
I would like to give some samples of a new toy to friends to test out the product. Is there some sort of disclaimer I could use please? Its a foam toy for the bath. Thank you
BeckyF - 9-Jul-17 @ 3:23 PM
How would I go about getting foam shapes for the bath safety checked please?
BeckyF - 9-Jul-17 @ 3:17 PM
Rach - Your Question:
Hi, I'm looking to sell hand poured wax crayons. As the crayons I'm planning to use are originally CE tested, do I need to CE test them myself as I am melting them down. Also where do I find the CE testing kit for this, as I can't find one? Thanks x

Our Response:
Colouring and painting articles are considered as toys according to the Toy safety Directive 2009/48/EC. You should check these (and the details in BS EN71) - which will be available at your local library (they will get one in for you if they don't have already have it).Trading Standards or BSI might also have information on the tests you need to carry out on your crayons.
ToysAdvice - 22-Jun-17 @ 11:49 AM
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Latest Comments
  • JodyP
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I've hunted high and low for a definative answer. I'm looking at manufacturing a card game (made in China) and the same spec as…
    19 August 2017
  • Peggy
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi. I paint wooden peg dolls and I'm just wondering if I use CE tested paint and sealant do I need to have them retested or does…
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    ToysAdvice - Your Question:cookie2018 - Your Question:Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    cookie2018 - Your Question:Hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks,…
    18 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Donna - Your Question:Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please…
    18 August 2017
  • Soft Toy Man
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello, looking to import a branded soft toy as a one off, to be given to adults and client is happy to label it 'not for…
    17 August 2017
  • Clo
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I'm looking at making and selling teething necklaces? Do they need testing? What do I need to purchase to insure I'm covered…
    17 August 2017
  • cookie2018
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    hi ive made some childrens wooden lock/latch boards with various components such as door locks, handles, beads and everyday…
    16 August 2017
  • Donna
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Do wooden teethers (hand held with no fabric 'ears', beads, cord etc) need the CE mark? If so, please could you advise me which?…
    16 August 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    wendy - Your Question:Hello I make little brooches. They are handcut from pine wood and sanded and painted with acrylic paints…
    16 August 2017
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