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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 16 Jul 2019 | 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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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Hi I make dolls, with calico, the stuffing is all regulated capok or pure wool, they have no false eyes only embroidered, and all cloths pure cotton and little jumpers are wool. I make the shoes out of felt. Would they be safe to sell? If not what do I need to do. They are all handmade, the only thing that could come off is the buttons.
Sue - 16-Jul-19 @ 10:18 PM
Hi, I am new to selling products. I am making knitted soft toys that I intend to sell at a craft stall and have been informed about these safety measures. Where do I start and what do I need to do? The wool I have used has gone through safety check so does that mean I still need to do the same or not? Thanks for any advise.
charlotte - 16-Jul-19 @ 4:09 PM
Hi, I am a crafter and do craft shows mainly tote bags, aprons, fabric trays etc. I hav been asked if I can make superhero capes from cotton and felt masks to go with them however, I don't know what testing is required or how I go about the whole process. Is this going to cost into hundreds of pounds to do as I do this as a hobby. Many thanks for any advice you can give me.
Nic - 12-Jun-19 @ 6:24 PM
I’m wanting to make and sell sensory lap pads, blankets and twiddle/fiddle muffs. Also I spy bags - zipped canvas pencil cases with clear pvc window containing plastic poly pellets and small items such as plastic toys and buttons etc for the customer to move about and find the items hidden within the pellets. The bags will be sewn shut so the zip will just be decorative. Advice welcomed for this first venture. Thank you
Anne - 19-May-19 @ 11:03 AM
Hi. Does anyone know of a glue that is en71 compliant apart from Pritt stick and school glue?
Lynn - 15-May-19 @ 7:18 AM
Hi, I’m looking to sell some wooden toys of various shape and size which will be hand painted by myself. The toys itself have been tested and I’ll be using paints that also have been tested.Also I was hoping to do a little sculpting on top of the wooden object but cant find a CE tested sculpting compound do you know of any? Would I need to get the painted toys tested again and if so how can I do it?They’ll be taken out of their original packaging and repackaged Thanks
Hearts - 14-May-19 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, I'm making dummy clips and teething rings with silicone beads and wooden rings. All the materials have been bought of amazon which have been tested. Can you please advise where to have my products tested or what I need to do in order to sell the finished products? Thank you
Barbora - 12-May-19 @ 8:29 AM
Hi, Just looking for any advice as regards kids knitting needles as I am looking to manufacture these.There seems some dubiety as to whether they would be considered a toy or not however I would like to err on the side of caution & make sure they comply to EN 71 3 (although would not be able to afford product testing, although I am investigating the cost of this too).Does anyone know of any glue that is EN 71 3 compliant?
Rosie - 11-May-19 @ 3:01 PM
Hi, I’m looking to sell some wooden toys of various shape and size which will be hand painted by me. The toys itself have been tested and I’ll be using paints that also have been tested. So in this situation would I need to get the painted toys tested again and if so how can I do it? They’ll be taken out of their original packaging and packed again by me in some tissue paper. Thanks
MJ - 3-May-19 @ 1:05 PM
Where or how can I get my handmade sleepover tents safety tested and ce marked?
Anna - 28-Apr-19 @ 10:05 PM
Hi I'm thinking of making and selling teething rings with silicone and wooden components and also teething jewellery what safety standards do they need to comply with and were would I get them safety tested.thanks in advance.
Sarah - 18-Apr-19 @ 2:10 PM
Hi I am making dummy clips, I have bought the silicone beads of Amazon which have been tested. Am I ok to go on and make these and sell them?
Sophie - 16-Apr-19 @ 12:01 PM
Are there any product safety standards for dog and cat toys in the UK, as there are for children's toys?If not, there should be!
MermazingEm - 29-Mar-19 @ 9:52 PM
Hi I am researching making stuffed toys for children, what would i need to do to get them tested to meet the requirements?
JF - 17-Mar-19 @ 11:41 AM
Hi,I have imported some teething toys from China. There is no CE marking. Can I arrange to have these tested myself?
SJP - 9-Mar-19 @ 1:21 PM
I am researching making/selling silicone dummy clips and teething toys. If I were to bulk order these from china, what must they be compliment to? Also do i need to re-approve them in UK and get further certification? How would I go about this? Thanks
CB - 9-Feb-19 @ 1:21 PM
Hi I am researching into making silicone teething toys/dummy clips with silicone teething beads. Please could you advise what I need to do with regards to having it tested first, how do I go about this? Thank you in advance
CB - 9-Feb-19 @ 1:17 PM
Hi. We're thinking to do some teethers but with a felt soft toy attached. There is any safety standards we should meet for the felt part? Thanks
FP - 8-Feb-19 @ 6:16 PM
Hi I am looking to make silicone teething jewellery and dummy clips with silicone teething beads. Please could you advise what I need to do with regards to having it tested first? Thank you in advance
KP - 24-Jan-19 @ 6:09 PM
Hi, i am thinking of starting my own business selling silicone dummy holders, which are used as a dummy clip and as teether. I would order those from china, they are FDA approved. Do i need to approve them in UK?any kind of certification?
Jelena - 23-Jan-19 @ 8:18 PM
Hello I am employing a Chinese electronics company to manufacture a new remote controlled child’s toy. How do I know it is safe to sell in the UK? Do i need to have it independently tested and certified? If so who does this? Many thanks
Bubs - 27-Nov-18 @ 8:17 PM
I am importing toy products from the US and following successful EN71 testing have been selling them with CE/Choking/ address details on the back of packaging via an adhesive label. The supplier is willing to update their packaging with a CE mark and choking hazard symbol and text, however they will not put my address as final distributor on their packaging.If my address details were on the instruction sheet as the UK distributor would that suffice?
Jeremy - 26-Nov-18 @ 3:57 PM
Do a pack of cards require any safety labels or testing for EN71? please advise
Rax - 29-Oct-18 @ 12:43 PM
Hi I will be importing scooters from China to sell. How do I check that they meet the child safety laws here in the UK?
C.Hamilton - 21-Oct-18 @ 6:14 AM
Hi, I make my own fabric dolls and would like to sell them in UK and Europe. I need to make sure that they are CE standard. Please few free to contact me on 07854459384 Thank you, Gili
Gili - 15-Oct-18 @ 12:02 PM
I knit as a hobby and make toys some of which I sell to help me restock with yarn. I understand I need to CE mark them. Do I have to produce a full technical file for each one ( I only knit 1 of each item )
Babsy - 12-Oct-18 @ 9:56 AM
I make wooden toys that I give to Charities, do I have to have them checked? Thank you for your time Kind regards Paul
Meccanoman - 5-Oct-18 @ 9:22 PM
Hi I hope you can help me, I am making hobby horses and unicorns for most of my grandchildren for Christmas and I was just wondering if there are any regulations on home made toys. None of the items I make are never sold to anyone else unless I get asked to make anything specific, I use child friendly paint and glue there are no sharp edges on any of the items oftoys.
gramps - 4-Oct-18 @ 12:05 PM
Is anyone qualified to check my packaging is ok and has all the legalities needed for a bath toy before I go to print?
moi - 17-Sep-18 @ 10:30 PM
Hi Can I ask what the requirements are for making and selling beaded baby bracelets (fashion bracelets, special occasion wear). Should there be a warning that adult supervision should be advised at all times? I have had a query regarding baby bracelets not meeting trading standards guide lines. The bracelets in question are very well made using strong jewellers wire, excellent quality Swarovski Beads and securely fastened at each end. The bracelets will be clearly marked with a warning that they contain small parts and adult supervision is required at all times when the baby is wearing the bracelet. Is this sufficient information please.
Kili3 - 17-Sep-18 @ 9:27 AM
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