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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 15 Jan 2020 | 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ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away.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 paint song and story props with ce tested acrylic paints and sealed with ce tested toy sealant, do I still need to get the wooden spoons tested again? They are ce tested and purchased from amazon and hobby craft? Thank you
Gg - 15-Jan-20 @ 8:38 PM
tinky winkey, dipsy, lala and pohhhhhh !!!!!
tinky winky - 11-Dec-19 @ 12:40 PM
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shush - 11-Dec-19 @ 12:32 PM
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
Chris - 27-Nov-19 @ 10:05 AM
I want to start selling crayons in different shapes,I will use crayons already ce certified and melt them but what do I need to do to be able to sell them.im confused with all the directives and what they come under.
Roxy - 23-Nov-19 @ 10:09 PM
Hi I would like to make sensory boxes for babies and young children containing a range of sensory toys and items, how would I go about making sure they comply with standards, some will be homemade others bought from a supplier?
Bridie - 10-Nov-19 @ 3:19 PM
i want to make poodle rockers (rocking horse but with poodles) do i have to get them CE tested ? also is normal oil based undercoat and topcoat of eggshell ok to use or do i have to get specific paint for that sort of project thank you
jum - 18-Oct-19 @ 11:49 PM
I really want to make wooden poodle rockers and paint them . What is he best paint to use? Can I use normal oil based undercoat and normal eggshell paint
Juliet - 18-Oct-19 @ 6:26 PM
Hi, I would like to get into crafting to sell.Would the following items need to be CE testEd? Canvas Bags, Paper bunting and make-up bags. I wouldn’t class any of these items as toys but the bunting maybe in a child’s room as decoration so I am not sure if this would require testing.I wouldn’t know where to start with this so any help would be appreciated.
KateD - 12-Oct-19 @ 8:07 AM
Hi. I am looking into making chewelry for children with the tendency to chew clothing. They will be made only of recycled tshirt materials. Is there a test I need to do for safety. Thank you.
Missmonty80 - 5-Oct-19 @ 12:47 PM
Can anyone tell me the toxitity of fabric paint specifically glow in the dark.
Cal - 24-Sep-19 @ 8:48 PM
Hi, I am looking to handmake and sell Taggie blankets for children. I don’t class these as a toy but now am unsure whether they would need to be tested! If anyone could give some advice I’d be very grateful thank you
Loumeg123 - 31-Aug-19 @ 4:33 PM
What is the legal requirement for ribbon length on a babies toy?
Claire Grant - 24-Aug-19 @ 9:50 AM
Hi, I have a product - memory cards for children aged 2 - 4 for their early development. The set is basically for the parents as they teach their child on language and memory skills. The cards are of the size, look and feel of a typical playing card deck (though a bit smaller than the normal playing cards). Will the product qualify as a Toy? Do I need to put any safety labels or get it attested and certified for EN71? I searched on the UK and EU regulations website and could not find any reference. How do I go about?
CoM - 16-Aug-19 @ 3:12 AM
does anyone know if crochet water balloons need ce testing I cant find any information I know handmade sporting goods don't but don't know if they come under that
ali - 9-Aug-19 @ 4:40 PM
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
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