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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 27 Nov 2018 | 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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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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
Hi, I am making a board game, and I wonder do I need a ! safety standards certificate ! in order to sell it here in the Uk? if so where do I get that certificate please? Thank you so much regards Gerson
Gerson - 9-Sep-18 @ 6:22 PM
clltd - Your Question:
We are importing rubik type cubes from China - known as magic cubes. We repackage the original products - making no other change to it. It is sold under another brand with permission from the manufacturer. I am looking for some guidance around what should be on the packaging. Warnings, age range, address etc.

Our Response:
If they're to be sold as toys check that they meet the toy safety standards (EN71 covers the safety standards for all toys for children up to the age of 14 plus products that are not intended as toys but look like toys). You can find information about labelling and packaging etc here
ToysAdvice - 29-Aug-18 @ 3:11 PM
We are importing rubik type cubes from China - known as magic cubes. We repackage the original products - making no other change to it. It is sold under another brand with permission from the manufacturer. I am looking for some guidance around what should be on the packaging. Warnings, age range, address etc.
clltd - 29-Aug-18 @ 10:17 AM
Hello, I am looking to sell some playmats I have been working on. They have a drawstring around the edge to pull into a bag and carry/store toys in. Does this need testing? Thank You
Sarah - 29-Aug-18 @ 8:43 AM
robin - Your Question:
I have made a 'picker triangle' and have been asked to make more to sell. I would obviously like to CE mark them. These would be fire indoor usage mainly and always under supervision.

Our Response:
The BS EN71 standards are available at libraries or you can order them from the internet. If you cannot do the necessary testing, you can find companies who will do this for you (for a charge!)
ToysAdvice - 24-Aug-18 @ 3:44 PM
I have made a 'picker triangle' and have been asked to make more to sell. I would obviously like to CE mark them. These would be fire indoor usage mainly and always under supervision.
robin - 22-Aug-18 @ 2:15 PM
Fer M - Your Question:
Dear Team,I am creating a line of clothing for girls that has smaller version that are to be worn by 18 in dolls. Do the doll clothes need tests because they are consider toys? If so, could you please let me know what type of testing do they need?Thanks in advance for pointing me in the right direction.

Our Response:
Yes they will ned CE marking if you're to sell them. The standards are BS EN 71 and you can find details in your library. Some firms offer testing services and you can also buy self certification packs which help you to do your own testing, a simple search on the Internet will find these.
ToysAdvice - 14-Aug-18 @ 1:47 PM
Dear Team, I am creating a line of clothing for girls that has smaller version that are to be worn by 18 in dolls.Do the doll clothes need tests because they are consider toys? If so, could you please let me know what type of testing do they need? Thanks in advance for pointing me in the right direction.
Fer M - 2-Aug-18 @ 6:19 AM
Hi I what to bring slime toys over from china already spoke to manufacturers jus need to no what I need to do here in UK and China do I need tests done or which ones also what certificates required
Lubs - 11-Jul-18 @ 10:26 AM
I want to import slime toys I have a Chinese manufacturers ready to do business what do I need to do pls
Lubseys - 10-Jul-18 @ 10:34 PM
TrendyWendy_41 - Your Question:
I am desperate for some help please! I have been let down by my supplier of plush toys who has made substandard products in comparison to the prototypes he sent me. I don't even know if this batch has been safely checked and I want to know if I should have an en 17 certificate for these very bad copies that he has sent me.

Our Response:
If you're selling toys here in the UK or in any EU country they need to have been tested to EN 17 standards. It's common for initial testing to take place but many sellers will also conduct random tests to ensure ongoing quality. If you supplier has not sent you the products as agreed, you have a case of contract breach and may need to seek legal redress.
ToysAdvice - 27-Jun-18 @ 11:36 AM
I am desperate for some help please! I have been let down by my supplier of plush toys who has made substandard products in comparison to the prototypes he sent me. I don't even know if this batch has been safely checked and I want to know if I should have an en 17 certificate for these very bad copies that he has sent me.
TrendyWendy_41 - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:14 PM
avril - Your Question:
I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards. Which standard applies to soft toys and what marks should I look for. Thank you.

Our Response:
It's all in the article above please read it (CE labelling and EN71 standards etc)
ToysAdvice - 8-Jun-18 @ 3:25 PM
I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards.Which standard applies to soft toys and what marks should I look for. Thank you.
avril - 7-Jun-18 @ 2:25 PM
TJ1302 - Your Question:
Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard corrugated - would this be 'safe' to use or would it be an issue Re fire safety etc.

Our Response:
You would need to check safety standards (available at most libraries) - we can't give individual advice on products.
ToysAdvice - 5-Jun-18 @ 3:42 PM
Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard corrugated - would this be 'safe' to use or would it be an issue Re fire safety etc.
TJ1302 - 4-Jun-18 @ 9:53 PM
Are 20cm foam balls classified as a toy or as sports equipment.
Ja - 1-Jun-18 @ 10:15 AM
To order tots from China and resell do I rely on the manufacturer to meet the safety standards or do I buy a sample to test with the easing standards before ordering bulk
Buks - 30-May-18 @ 10:48 PM
pete - Your Question:
I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by a relative. I am worried by the size and weight (6kg (or 1stone)) of it and its potential to crush the feet of children awaiting their turn on it. Has this ever occurred and is there a recommended weight restriction?

Our Response:
We can't give answers about specific products unfortunately. The Charity Shop or other retailer may want to be sure it conforms to British Safety Standards which can be found online or via details on the British Toy and Hobby Association
ToysAdvice - 30-May-18 @ 3:24 PM
I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by a relative. I am worried by the size and weight (6kg (or 1stone)) of it and its potential to crush the feet of children awaiting their turn on it. Has this ever occurred and is there a recommended weight restriction?
pete - 26-May-18 @ 6:05 PM
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