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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 20 Jun 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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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[Add a Comment]
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
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
Rach - 20-Jun-17 @ 9:07 AM
Nicola - Your Question:
Hi, I am looking into purchasing a self certification C E marking pack. The only ones I can find are for soft toys. My product is painted stones. Does anyone know if I need to order something different and where is best to look please?

Our Response:
We often refer to Conformance but they seem to offer only two packs: for soft and for knitted toys. You could try the Handmade Toys Collective here
ToysAdvice - 16-Jun-17 @ 9:57 AM
Hi, I am looking into purchasing a self certification C E marking pack. The only ones I can find are for soft toys. My product is painted stones. Does anyone know if I need to order something different and where is best to look please?
Nicola - 13-Jun-17 @ 9:44 AM
I make crochet, knitted and sewn toys and I'm hoping to sell them. I use safety eyes and filling that conform to EN71. What else do I need to be toy safe? So I can sell online etc
Steph - 11-Jun-17 @ 8:57 PM
i am considering making craft kits with adults but theoretically, there would be no reason why a child/young adult would not be able to use them too. Would I need a CE mark here?
wickychick - 7-Jun-17 @ 3:30 PM
HI Could you please tell me if childrens home made bright coloured money purses have to be CE marked. Thanks in advance
Shell - 7-Jun-17 @ 10:33 AM
Hi, I want to also make children's sensory and discovery boxes. These mainly include items that are not toys, that are commercially produced. Also natural found items. Can I assume I don't have to do further testing? Or what testing would I have to do before I market them as a set for children? Some of the items are intended for babies. Examples of contents include squashy silicone kitchen funnels, cupcake cases and lemon squeezers, natural rounded stones, wooden eggs and large wooden beads (that don't fit in the choking cylinder), small brass bowls and bottles, (lacquered not polished); homemade (edible) playdough, pieces of sheepskin or rabbitskin,loofah, pine cones, etc.
Cathy - 20-May-17 @ 7:50 AM
Hi, I am starting to make Waldorf dolls and painted wooden pegdolls. Can you send me a link to the CE Conformance pack, is there one pack for both? Can anyone share one with me? How can I certify a doll that has loose wispy animal fibre hair? (part of the nature of these dolls). And pegdolls mostly fit into the choking cylinder, can I certify them for over 3s? What about how to find a child safe varnish? It's a minefield!!
Cathy - 20-May-17 @ 7:38 AM
Hgrov - Your Question:
What do aprons and chefs hats come under? They are for actual kitchen use so are they clothing or toys? Thank you. Helen.

Our Response:
They would be classed as toys as they are essentially "children's costumes"
ToysAdvice - 18-May-17 @ 2:35 PM
What do aprons and chefs hats come under? They are for actual kitchen use so are they clothing or toys? Thank you. Helen.
Hgrov - 17-May-17 @ 6:48 PM
Craftyjen - Your Question:
I make felt window mobiles do theses need safety checks they are not made to be used as a toy

Our Response:
Here is what the British Toy and Hobby Association advises:
"Mobiles that are intended to be placed within the reach of a child and have designed or intended play function are toys and fall within scope of the Toys Safety Directive (2009/48/EC).
Mobiles that consist of components that in the main are intended to be out of the child’s reach (mobiles intended to entertain or distract an infant without physical contact) are not designed or intended for use in play and are therefore not toys. These types of mobiles fall within scope of the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC)"
ToysAdvice - 17-May-17 @ 2:00 PM
I make felt window mobiles do theses need safety checks they are not made to be used as a toy
Craftyjen - 16-May-17 @ 4:24 PM
I was wondering why it is ok for Yarn not to be tested En71-3 or EN71-9, if it is sold to the public-surely if there are hazardous compounds in the Yarn, then it should be unsuitable for making anything with.. Clothing or soft toys.
Tiga65 - 12-May-17 @ 2:57 PM
Shelley - Your Question:
Hi I was just wondering why the Chinese manufacturer for the puppets was getting you to test for EN71 in the UK as maybe that was originally included in your quote for manufacture in China.My company works with a chinese manufacturer and they test via SGS Testing Laboratory China for EN71 , ASTM (USA standard), and other standards. The chinese manufacturer then provides the EN71 certificates to us as the price they quoted to us included testing.There are many testing houses in the uk SGS being one of them who have branches worldwide. Best regards.

Our Response:
Thanks for sharing this information Shelley, clearly not all as proficient as the one your company works with, but it's useful to know that some will do this.
ToysAdvice - 5-Apr-17 @ 11:44 AM
Hi I was just wondering why the Chinese manufacturer for the puppets was getting you to test for EN71 in the UK as maybe that was originally included in your quote for manufacture in China. My company works with a chinese manufacturer and they test via SGS Testing Laboratory China forEN71 , ASTM (USA standard), and other standards. The chinese manufacturer then provides the EN71 certificates to us as the price they quoted to us included testing. There are many testing houses in the uk SGS being one of them who have branches worldwide. Best regards.
Shelley - 3-Apr-17 @ 10:19 PM
The comeback!- Your Question:
Hi there, I am currently dealing with a supplier in China on anew puppet project, They have told me I will be getting samples to test for EN71 standards, Can you point me in right direction for a EN71 test centre for a puppet?

Our Response:
We can't make individual recommendations. Type EN71 testing centres in to a search engine and you will find plenty of them around. If you want to do your own testing, sometimes it's relatively easy and you can find details of the relevant standards in any library. There are also some companies that offer "packs" to help you self-certificate and these can be cheaper than paying a testing centre.
ToysAdvice - 27-Mar-17 @ 11:22 AM
Hi there, I am currently dealing with a supplier in China on anew puppet project, They have told me I will be getting samples to test for EN71 standards, Can you point me in right direction for a EN71 test centre for a puppet?
The comeback! - 25-Mar-17 @ 9:45 AM
1007lou - Your Question:
I'm looking at importing wooden toys, how do I go about getting them tested? Can you point me in the right direction of companies to access?

Our Response:
We try not recommend specific companies, but there are some useful links in the responses to comments below.
ToysAdvice - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:21 PM
I'm looking at importing wooden toys, how do i go about getting them tested? Can you point me in the right direction of companies to access?
1007lou - 21-Mar-17 @ 2:24 PM
Emma - Your Question:
If I was to make and sell story Spoons using wooden spoons and drawn on with sharpies pens and sealed with mod podge glue would I need to have then CE certified under EN71-3? Thank you

Our Response:
We can't give advice on individual,specific situations ilke this, you'd need to check the actual standards to see whether your toys comply.
ToysAdvice - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:29 PM
KAD - Your Question:
Hi, you mention in an answer above that if your toy does not pass all the CE toy safety tests that you need to seek professional advice and I was just wondering where/who you would go to for this as I may need to do this in connection with a project I am currently working on.

Our Response:
The British Standards Institute is a good place to start. They will be able to advise on what changes to make to ensure the toy meets the necessary requirements.
ToysAdvice - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:56 AM
If I was to make and sell story Spoons using wooden spoons and drawn on with sharpies pens and sealed with mod podge glue would I need to have then CE certified under EN71-3? Thank you
Emma - 9-Mar-17 @ 6:24 PM
Hi, you mention in an answer above that if your toy does not pass all the CE toy safety tests that you need to seek professional advice and I was just wondering where/who you would go to for this as I may need to do this in connection with a project I am currently working on.
KAD - 9-Mar-17 @ 3:46 PM
I'm designing a Christmas decoration at the moment. I've noted the exclusion from CE, which is good. I will put warnings on the packaging to tell parents to not let their children play with the santa decoration... so the only certifications I need are (self certification) that the fabrics and stuffing for my soft santa decoration is flame retardant. - right?? Many thanks if you could help confirm this James
JBD - 7-Mar-17 @ 3:38 PM
Hi, we have lights that will be used by children, I have all the electrical testing - Do I need EN71 aswell?
SR - 7-Mar-17 @ 9:36 AM
mumof2 - Your Question:
Hello. If I were to make and sell homemade fabric books for toddlers and children. Would these need to be tested? Thanks

Our Response:
Yes. Please see the response to @PL below which has a couple of useful resources.
ToysAdvice - 24-Feb-17 @ 10:11 AM
PL - Your Question:
Hi there, I am looking to produce a childrens pack of activities and want to know where/ how I can get them checked so that I know they pass all childrens safety requirements. I would appreciate any advice! Many thanks,

Our Response:
There are many companies that offer testing for toy safety. Or you could find one that enables you to self certify such as Conformance . A Handcrafted Business is also a great resource to check out.
ToysAdvice - 23-Feb-17 @ 12:34 PM
Hi there, I am looking to produce a childrens pack of activities and want to know where/ how I can get them checked so that I know they pass all childrens safety requirements. I would appreciate any advice! Many thanks,
PL - 22-Feb-17 @ 12:45 PM
Hello. If i were to make and sell homemade fabric books for toddlers and children. Would these need to be tested? Thanks
mumof2 - 21-Feb-17 @ 9:27 AM
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