Toys sold on the European market are subject to toy safety regulations. Therefore, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the toy safety specification, there must be certain safety standards, documents, labels and laboratory inspection standards.
In this guide, we will introduce some knowledge about EN standards and wholesale toy safety, which importers and manufacturers need to know.
1.What are the toy safety guidelines?
The aim of the Toy Safety Regulation is to reduce the safety risks of children’s toys on the European market. In particular, the mechanical properties, chemical properties, flammability and other safety of toys were standardized. In addition, this guide describes the requirements for documents and labels.
Please note that this guide does not provide technical requirements for the safety of each product covered. Importers and producers can refer to special uniform standards such as EN 71.
EN71 is the European safety standard for all toys sold on the EU market.
EN 71 is also part of the CE Directive, which has been implemented to guarantee that all toys sold on the European market meet certain minimum safety standards:
- flame retardancy
- Chemical composition
- Electrical Safety
Product safety is always a big concern, especially when it comes to children’s use (with or without). To make things slightly more complicated, the EN 71 directive does not contain one section, but thirteen:
The EN 71 standard Outlines the safety requirements for toys, including physical and chemical properties, flammability and warnings.
1.EN 71-1Mechanical and physical properties
EN 71-1 mechanics and test methods for toys are described in detail as follows:
- Small parts
- Expansion of the material
- A sharp blade
- Metal wire
In addition, EN 71-1 regulates packaging and warning marking.
2.EN71-2: flammable substance
EN 71-2 flammable materials, design and testing methods for toys are specified to reduce the risk of burns and other fire-related hazards. For example, stuffed and woven animals and animal toys must meet this specification.
This standard contains a list of banned combustible substances such as cellulose nitrate, as well as design and construction guidance for improving flame retardancy.
3.EN 71-3: Special instructions for transfer of elements
EN 71-3 sets restrictions on the movement of hazardous substances such as phthalates or heavy metals. In particular, there are different migration restrictions for the following types of data:
- A dry, fragile, powdery or flexible substance
- Liquid or viscous material
- Peeling materials
For example, the maximum concentration of cadmium is 1.3 mg/kg in the dry material, 0.3 mg/kg in the liquid material and 17 mg/kg in the scraped material.
In addition, EN 71-3 lists 55 sensitive fragrances that cannot be used in toys, but in this case the amount of these fragrances cannot exceed 100 mg/kg. This standard also provides for sampling, analysis and calculation of results.
4.EN71-4: test equipment for chemical and related activities
EN 71-4 Specification of materials and mixtures, such as crystalline growth packs, used in chemical and related active test equipment. Toys containing one or more chemicals are classified as dangerous goods in accordance with the classification, labelling and packaging of EEC 1272/2008.
Importers and manufacturers can also find warning labels and testing methods in this standard.
5.EN 71-5: Chemical toys other than lab coats (sets)
EN 71-5 May be used for chemical toys other than experimental groups, such as toys containing ceramic glazes. Similar to EN 71-4, this standard focuses on limits for hazardous substances in toys. In addition, there are other guidelines, such as instructions for use, labeling, and testing methods.
6.En71-7: Color of fingertip
EN 71-7 describes the safety requirements for finger coating products, which are a special mixture of colours that can be applied directly to suitable objects by hand or finger.
This standard lists limits on hazardous substances and mixtures used for finger coloring and lists other requirements. For example, no sugar, no seasoning, no spices.
7.EN 71-8 Portable toys for the family
EN 71-8 includes toys for climbing, jumping, swinging and other sports. Its safety requirements are: static strength, maximum height, stability and so on. In addition, there will be warnings and signs for toys that move.
8.EN 71-12 N-nitrosamine and n-nitrite
EN 71-12 defined and tested n-nitrosamines and n-nitroso salts. It also provides guidance on sample preparation and test methods.
9.EN 71-13 Smell board games, makeup bags and taste games
EN 71-13 describes the safety requirements in smell board games, cosmetic sets, taste games, and ancillary sets of these games or sets. In addition, the packaging of the product also has certain requirements.
Importers and manufacturers may find a limited number of substances, such as allergenic flavors, and their corresponding warning requirements. In addition, THESE products are regulated and safely operated in EN 71-13.
10.EN 71-14 Family bounce bed
EN 71-14 regulates the safety of trampolines, including cushioned trampolines, inflatable trampolines, fitness trampolines and other types of trampolines. It also provides for material durability, mat flexing, finger clipping and other safety requirements.
On this basis, this standard provides an overview of the requirements for warnings, markings and instructions.
11. EN62115 Electronic toys – Safety
EN62115 is a standard electronic toy, such as remote control car and children’s walkie-talkie. The standard has complete electronic safety requirements for electric toys, including:
- Electrical test
- Insulation strength test
- Heating test
- The thermal test
- Operation Guide
This standard aims to prevent potential hazards caused by electric toys for the following reasons:
- High temperature
- Component failure
- Input power is incorrect
Parts for EN 71 are suitable for specific products, depending on the characteristics of the product. For detailed instructions on toy safety, please refer to the official website of the European Union.
3.Do toys imported into Europe need to comply with EN 71?
That’s right. Whether it’s A Chinese product or a European one, it won’t be any different. It’s still legal. But sometimes it’s hard to decide if a product is a toy.
The most common definition is that any product that a child can play with under the age of 14 is a toy, so it must meet the requirements of EN 71.
The obligations of importers are as follows：
- Ensure suppliers comply with EN 71 instructions.
- Ensure to print the company’s name and address on the product or package
- Ensure that EN 71 meets requirements and is not stored or transported
- Ensure that each sample is tested
- Keep records of complaints about products
- Notify local authorities of any violations
- Keep relevant documents for at least 10 years, such as proof of compliance
- Ensure that the product has the CE mark (if not suitable for printing), it can also be printed on the outer package of the product
- Ensure that the product is used together with the user’s manual
However, the rules may change tomorrow. Always contact local authorities before placing orders with suppliers in China.
4.How do we ensure consistency with EN 71?
Ensuring that the EN 71 meets the requirements is more complicated than simply obtaining a test report and completing it. Each SKU (product/model) goes through four processes.
The first step is to evaluate suitable components for EN 71. As has been shown, not just one kind.
Not all EN 71 components are suitable for all products. So, you need to determine which parts are appropriate.
As a toy importer in the EU, you must fully understand the technical requirements listed in SECTION EN 71 as you need to confirm that the design and materials of your products are authentic.
All toys sold in Europe must have a CE mark. You will need to submit the CE marking document to the vendor and specify the size, printing location and color.
Note that additional markup requirements are also available.
All products, including toys, must bear the CE mark. Please attach the following materials:
- Consistency declaration
- Operating instructions
- Technical documentation (i.e. design drawings, bills of Materials, and other documents)
You won’t be able to get them from your supplier. You should distribute your products yourself before they enter the European market.
As a toy importer, the department concerned can request a certificate of compliance from you, as well as a certificate of inspection report. This request can be made at the time of declaration of your goods or within a few months of the start of sales of your products.
In other words, following the rules is not just a matter of “getting your goods through customs”.
The inspection report is to verify that your product meets EN 71 requirements. To get one, you need to submit a batch of samples to an accredited laboratory testing company (not all companies can).
When your lab tests are complete, you will get a data file about your product.
If your product has not been laboratory tested by EN 71, your product is illegal. Therefore, the technical specifications of the product must be known before laboratory testing.
EN 71 lab tests, approximately $500 per product. Due to the high requirements of different colors and materials, products of different colors and materials are tested.
5.What if my product is not up to scratch?
EU officials did not consult with importers of unqualified toys. EN 71 Compliance is always necessary. Selling such items usually results in a forced recall in the marketplace, or a legal conflict, so as not to harm your product.
Even if the problem is caused by a supplier, the EU does not provide compensation to the importing country that fails to meet the requirements.
Note that EN 71 instructions are constantly updated. New chemicals have been strictly controlled.
This article will soon be phased out. I am sure, however, that such requests will not be eased any time soon (and for good reason).