Safety amendment causes reverb among music toy firms

By September 30th, new toy safety requirements for all music toys will come into effect.
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An amendment to the EU toy safety standard is causing reverb among toy suppliers as a new scope of testing sets out to scrutinise all musical products.

From drums to whistles, all toys that are intended to make a noise will now be subjected to testing to ensure they meet the new acoustic requirements outlined in the EU toy standard, EN71-1.

From September 30th 2014, any new toy emitting sounds that does not meet the standard, will be deemed unsafe.

Close-to-the-ear toys, tabletop or floor toys, hand-held toys, any toy using headphones or earphones, pull or push toys, wind and cap firing toys will also all be subjected to the testing.

For stock that is already in the country by September 30th, a grace period will be offered to retailers, enabling them to legally sell the product until it has gone.

“We don’t want to set alarm bells ringing and have retailers thinking ‘it’s September 30th, I have to take these drums off my shelves,’ because there is a period of grace,” said Judith Stark, MD of Halilit.

"Some people have ordered well ahead in orderto have stock that covers them up to spring. But no one is going to fall foul of these new regulations.”

As the UK supplier of a vast collection of acoustic and musical toys for toddlers and children, Halilit is among those to feel the strain of the September 30th deadline.

“The new standard affects us because it hits our pockets,” Stark told ToyNews.

“Halilit have been supplying musical products to the UK for over 30 years now and we are very proud of our impeccable safety record.

“Some of the instruments that are affected [by the amendment] are some of our most popular lines. We quite simply will not be able to sell them in their present form.”

Since its announcement last September, Halilit has been working with toy safety experts and the BTHA in order to ensure all new toys meet the new safety standards.

However, despite their assurances, the firm is still perturbed as to how the new requirements have come about.

Stark added: “The fact that kids can make much louder noises banging on the table, or screaming at each other, it just seems like a nanny state gone crazy.”

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