Home > Regulations & Law > Toy Safety Standards in the UK

Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 18 Oct 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi there, I thinking to start my own business and make a garden playground where I. An find place for testing it and how much is cost to get certification? Thanks for answering
Smith23 - 18-Oct-17 @ 10:45 PM
Bec - Your Question:
Hi, I would like to start making and selling dummy clips which include teethers (teether rings attached to the dummy clip) I would be using wooden beads of all shapes and sizes for children from newborn+ what safety regulations would I need to look at, do I need to send some samples away to be assessed?

Our Response:
Yes you will need to get the various components tested. You can find the standards at a library. Many companies offer a testing and certification service, you can find these on the Internet. You can also find some companies that provide a "kit" for self-certification.
ToysAdvice - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:00 PM
Hi there, I would like to start making and selling toys for babies but don't know where to start when it comes to the health and safety side of things. Do I send off samples to be checked? I don't understand how this works. I see in a few comments above you mention that there are companies that you can send items to to be checked. Could you please provide links to the any that you recommend? Thank you
MamaBear - 14-Oct-17 @ 4:56 PM
Hi, I would like to start making and selling dummy clips which include teethers (teether rings attached to the dummy clip) I would be using wooden beads of all shapes and sizes for children from newborn+ what safety regulations would I need to look at, do I need to send some samples away to be assessed?
Bec - 13-Oct-17 @ 6:48 PM
LP - Your Question:
Hi I would like to paint stones/cobbles as story stones for children to play with. What tests and sizes would they have to be?

Our Response:
Please look up thestandards (EN71) these can be found in any library. There are also various companies that will provide a testing service or self certification packs if you check the internet.
ToysAdvice - 4-Oct-17 @ 2:07 PM
Greetings. I wondered about the packaging rules for novelty which has the age label 14 years plus on it? Do we still have to have product tests etc. if we manufacture them in China, or is it classed as Not a toy?
Ol - 3-Oct-17 @ 5:20 PM
Hi I would like to paint stones/cobbles as story stones for children to play with. What tests and sizes would they have to be?
LP - 3-Oct-17 @ 3:39 PM
Amy - Your Question:
Hello,I was wanting to purchase a copy of the Toy Safety Standards, where would I get one? I know you can view them at the local library but it's difficult to get to. Is there any where I can purchase one online?Thanks

Our Response:
Here is a link to the BSi online shop
ToysAdvice - 29-Sep-17 @ 3:17 PM
Hello, I was wanting to purchase a copy of the Toy Safety Standards, where would I get one? I know you can view them at the local library but it's difficult to get to. Is there any where I can purchase one online? Thanks
Amy - 28-Sep-17 @ 4:12 PM
Terri - Your Question:
I'm currently making Christmas decorations, some are made from felt like the gingerbread men. Do I have to specify that they are not toys? If so how?

Our Response:
They're not intended for play so do not need to comply with the Toy Safety Directive ( even though they are not classified as toys, they must still comply with all the other UK consumer safety legislation, such as Consumer Protection Act 1987.There is also an EU wide General Product Safety Directive). You could just label your products "This is not a toy, for decorative use only" or similar?
ToysAdvice - 26-Sep-17 @ 12:12 PM
I'm currently making Christmas decorations, some are made from felt like the gingerbread men. Do I have to specify that they are not toys? If so how?
Terri - 24-Sep-17 @ 12:04 PM
Hi I knit and sew barbie clothes do I need to get them tested and do I have to put labels on everything
Debs44 - 21-Sep-17 @ 6:40 PM
I make small wooden toys for children, such as cars, trains and piggybacks. I use all acrylic paints and finishing products so do I need to conform to CE marking.
Flipflop - 21-Sep-17 @ 10:30 AM
Hi, I paint stones/cobbles with various different designs and would like to start selling these. Some of the designs are from vintage childrens book illustrations, would these need to be ce tested? They are not meant for children or play but as paperweights/decoration/garden ornaments. Thank you
Lara - 21-Sep-17 @ 9:05 AM
Sammy jo - Your Question:
Hi. I am looking at manufacturing bespoke dolls clothing supplied with a shop bought doll. Please could you advise what safety testing and labelling I would need to carry out. Sorry for what may be a basic question- I'm new to this! Many thanks.

Our Response:
You will need to look at the British Standards for toy safety (in most libraries) or you can ask a toy safety testing company to do the testing for you. Some companies also offer a self certification pack to help you undertake the testing yourself.
ToysAdvice - 18-Sep-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hi.I am looking at manufacturing bespoke dolls clothing supplied with a shop bought doll.Please could you advise what safety testing and labelling I would need to carry out.Sorry for what may be a basic question- I'm new to this!Many thanks.
Sammy jo - 16-Sep-17 @ 8:17 AM
Hi, If a Toy fails the EN71-1 drop test (or another physical test) because it breaks, can it carry the CE mark? I am a bit confused how toy tea sets etc. pass as they would obviously break and then have sharp edges. Is there a different criteria I don't know about? thank you
christina - 12-Sep-17 @ 8:37 PM
Hi, We manufacture Science Kits and Chemistry Kits - like make your own slime for Age 6 - 96 years. I needed to know Do our Products need testing as the end Product is not for intended play purpose. If yes - what all standards doesneed to meet. Cheers
Anurag - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:51 PM
Hi, I'm looking at making and selling teething clips and bibs.All the materials I've purchased for the teethers have been CE certified, do I still need to get them tested?
Elf - 27-Aug-17 @ 11:32 AM
I make mohair, cotter pin jointed teddy bears I have been in contact with Bristol city council trading standards and my bears have two labels The first is on their right foot and say "handmade with love by Louise Kaminski " The second label is sewn into their back seam " this is not a toy, kaminki bears Bs57qj " Is this sufficient? Please advise Many thanks Lou
Kaminki - 25-Aug-17 @ 10:31 PM
Kjay74 - Your Question:
Hi, I'm looking to make soft toys from old socks - are there any particular regulations I need to follow to ensure safety standards are met ?

Our Response:
Yes your toys will need to comply with the Toy Safety regulations. You can find copies of the safety standards in your local library (they'll order them for you if needed). Some companies will also do the testing for you. There are also companies that offer self certifying testing kits for soft toys if you search the internet.
ToysAdvice - 23-Aug-17 @ 12:58 PM
JodyP - Your Question:
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.

Our Response:
The toy safety regulations apply to all products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old.
ToysAdvice - 22-Aug-17 @ 10:50 AM
Peggy - Your Question:
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

Our Response:
Peg dolls are classed as play figures in the safety standards EN 71. You can find some useful information on the CE marking website
ToysAdvice - 22-Aug-17 @ 9:52 AM
Hi, I'm looking to make soft toys from old socks - are there any particular regulations I need to follow to ensure safety standards are met ?
Kjay74 - 21-Aug-17 @ 8:11 PM
Soft Toy Man - Your Question:
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!

Our Response:
It's a bit of a grey area. If you can label them so that it's absolutely clear they are not suitable for children, they may not need the CE label/testing. Check with Trading Standards before proceeding.
ToysAdvice - 21-Aug-17 @ 11:40 AM
Clo - Your Question:
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

Our Response:
Please see the response to @Donna below.
ToysAdvice - 21-Aug-17 @ 10:47 AM
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
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 carry 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
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
  • Smith23
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi there, I thinking to start my own business and make a garden playground where I. An find place for testing it and how much…
    18 October 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Bec - Your Question:Hi, I would like to start making and selling dummy clips which include teethers (teether rings attached to…
    16 October 2017
  • MamaBear
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi there, I would like to start making and selling toys for babies but don't know where to start when it comes to the health…
    14 October 2017
  • Bec
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi, I would like to start making and selling dummy clips which include teethers (teether rings attached to the dummy clip) I…
    13 October 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    LP - Your Question:Hi I would like to paint stones/cobbles as story stones for children to play with. What tests and sizes would…
    4 October 2017
  • JAMmum
    Re: Were Toys Regulated Before the 1995 Safety Regulations?
    Yesterday my 9 year old became one of the 100's of children who have got their hair tangled in…
    1 October 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Amy - Your Question:Hello,I was wanting to purchase a copy of the Toy Safety Standards, where would I get one? I know you can…
    29 September 2017
  • Amy
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hello, I was wanting to purchase a copy of the Toy Safety Standards, where would I get one? I know you can view them at the…
    28 September 2017
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Terri - Your Question:I'm currently making Christmas decorations, some are made from felt like the gingerbread men. Do I have to…
    26 September 2017
  • Terri
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I'm currently making Christmas decorations, some are made from felt like the gingerbread men. Do I have to specify that they are…
    24 September 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ToysAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.