On July 20th 2011 a new and more stringent EU Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC) will come into effect. The updated directive will apply to all toys manufactured, imported and distributed within the European Union.
Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services have found more than 30 per cent of UK companies manufacturing, importing or distributing toys in Europe are still unsure of the impact of this revised Toy Safety Directive on their operations.
A long series of changes will become the law once the new directive is implemented, including: the requirement to conduct a safety assessment, the obligation to provide an EC declaration of conformity, the need to implement an Internal Production Control and the obligation to keep a record of toys’ technical files.
In addition, the toy industry will have to adapt to stricter chemical requirements: new restrictions on CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) and allergenic fragrances, as well as additional restrictions on cosmetic toys.
Bureau Veritas' EU Toy Supply Chain Risk Management Solution has been developed to help the supply chain in coping with the new safety requirements, reducing risk and product recalls, improving time-to-market and protecting brand reputation.
The directive includes the management of the technical file, which ranges from checking that the technical file has all the relevant documentation, to a full assessment of the contents and approach.
Bureau Veritas can also host technical files via their online platform, BV One Source. Additionally, Bureau Veritas also offer seminars to help manufacturers, importers and retailers understand their new obligations.
Malcolm Horner, technical consultant at Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services, commented: “The research we’ve conducted amongst our clients shows that a substantial number of toy professionals are not yet comfortable with the revised Toy Safety Directive. This is not a real surprise knowing that the Directive brings a lot of crucial changes and, ultimately, many interpretational questions are being asked.”
“Bureau Veritas’ technical consultants for toy safety are definitely well-placed to help manufacturers, importers and distributors deal with these regulatory changes and interpretational issues: we have experts sitting at the BSI Toy Safety Committee, CEN Toy Safety Committee and the UK and EU Notified Bodies Group, giving us a unique insight into the hazards associated with a wide variety of toys," adds Horner.