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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 11 Dec 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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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I'm looking to form a company that produces dolls houses. These will be made from MDF and will have lighting. They are decorative and not designed for children to play with. What will I need to comply with?
Miniature - 11-Dec-17 @ 6:22 PM
Chrissie - Your Question:
Hello. I run a small business and we are considering making and selling teethers for babies.made from natural wooden teething ring with fabric attached. Can you please advise me if this counts as a toy and requiring CE certification? Thank you

Our Response:
Teether or dummy clip has to comply with BS standards (look out forEU safety regulation BSEN12586:2007 in particular). If it has "play appeal" it's classed as a toy and needs CE certification.
ToysAdvice - 5-Dec-17 @ 11:34 AM
Hello. I run a small business and we are considering making and selling teethers for babies...made from natural wooden teething ring with fabric attached. Can you please advise me if this counts as a toy and requiring CE certification? Thank you
Chrissie - 2-Dec-17 @ 9:31 AM
MARY - Your Question:
Hello I would like to know what ce mark or safety mark is on barbies as I cannot find anything on the internet. only for the chelsea barbie dolls. thanks very much for your help

Our Response:
There should be a CE mark on any barbie dolls sold in the EU. It may be affixed to the packaging instead of/or as well as the doll itself.
ToysAdvice - 29-Nov-17 @ 11:33 AM
hello i would like to know what ce mark or safety mark is on barbies as i cannot find anything on the internet. only for the chelsea barbie dolls. thanks very much for your help
MARY - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:10 PM
Ells - Your Question:
I want to start a small craft business selling hand-painted stones in homemade fabric bags. What safety regulations would I need to meet for these items?

Our Response:
You will need to take a look at the relevant standards. You can find details of the relevant standards here. Once you know which standards apply to your product you can find them a library.
ToysAdvice - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:05 PM
I want to start a small craft business selling hand-painted stones in homemade fabric bags. What safety regulations would I need to meet for these items?
Ells - 27-Nov-17 @ 5:48 PM
Can you help me please, do toys that you make and give away to family or friends have to be CE tested?..
Jacqueline - 25-Nov-17 @ 7:20 PM
I have a question the above states that Christmas decorations are not needed to be ce marked does this mean the same for all crafted decorations as am wanting to craft and sell decorations for all holidays and nursery decos and just to be sure before I manufacture any if they need marking Many thanks
Lottie - 24-Nov-17 @ 5:43 PM
we are looking to open a inflatable soft play area and are looking at options for the mats from both Uk based manufacturers and also China could you tell me what sort of certs they should have and markings for me to be able to purchase these from China
cluckie - 22-Nov-17 @ 1:22 PM
PastaLover - Your Question:
Should the CE mark be shown on the toy? I have bought a teddy and the mark is on the box but not on the teddy itself. Is it safe?

Our Response:
The guidance is as follows: "The CE marking must be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the product or to its data plate. However, where this is not possible or not warranted on account of the nature of the product, it must be affixed to the packaging, if any, and to the accompanying documents"
ToysAdvice - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:41 PM
Should the CE mark be shown on the toy? I have bought a teddy and the mark is on the box but not on the teddy itself. Is it safe?
PastaLover - 20-Nov-17 @ 6:31 PM
Andrea - Your Question:
Hello, I am starting a small craft business and one of the items I was thinking of making were animal ear headbands. I was wondering if this item would require CE certification? Thank You

Our Response:
If they are hair accessories and not for use as toys they will not need CE marking, but will of course still have to comply with certain British Standards. If they are to be used as toys, in fancy dress outfits of course, then they will need to comply with toy safety regulations and display the CE mark.
ToysAdvice - 17-Nov-17 @ 12:58 PM
Hello, I am starting a small craft business and one of the items I was thinking of making were animal ear headbands.I was wondering if this item would require CE certification?Thank You
Andrea - 16-Nov-17 @ 4:21 PM
Hello, I am trying to figure out if a baby bib, a baby spoon and a baby placemat need to have a CE mark on the package to be sold in the UK. Can you please help me? Thanks.
chlo888 - 14-Nov-17 @ 11:52 PM
I have produced a toy and am currently having it tested in Hong Kong. It's a learn to dress stuffed toy, covered in buttons, buckles, clips & zips etc. There's a discrepancy as to whether the metal components, i.e. the clasps on the popper button etc. need to be tested for Nickel release. I believe the rule is that it needs testing "for products with prolonged skin contact metal component" However I don't that my toy qualifies as such. Obviously I don't want to fall foul of any rules, get the product recalled or God forbid harm a child. Can anybody please advise or point me in the direction of where I might be able to get clarification? Many thanks in advance.
Amelia - 7-Nov-17 @ 10:26 AM
Trace - Your Question:
Our school has stopped us from given children slime as a present for xmas but the slime has CE mark on it. The schools response is that it's a health and safety issue and children may have allergies against it. Can anyone help me

Our Response:
Aschool can ban children from taking a items into school for a variety of reasons and completely at their discretion. A school cannot "ban" parents from buying specific play items for use by children at home.
ToysAdvice - 6-Nov-17 @ 12:30 PM
Our school has stopped us from given children slime as a present for xmas but the slime has CE mark on it. The schools response is that it's a health and safety issue and children may have allergies against it. Can anyone help me
Trace - 4-Nov-17 @ 2:49 PM
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
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