The toy industry continues to lead all consumer goods in terms of volume of product recalls and safety notifications, according to the latest Stericycle European Recall and Notification Index.
The company has identified toys and children’s clothing as the two key areas with safety records lagging behind other industries, largely because of the impact from recent EU legislation.
While total product recall/safety notifications dropped by seven per cent in Q3 2014, the toy industry remains the worst offender in that group.
In Q3 2014, the most common toy safety infringement was due to chemicals (44 per cent), followed by choking risk (36 per cent).
'The increase in scrutiny as a result of consistent updates and amends to the EU Toys Directive is making it harder for companies to comply,' read a statement from Stericyle.
'Add to this the influx of manufacturing contracts migrating from the Far East and the seasonal demands on the toy industry plus the pressure on manufacturers mounts significantly.'
Farzad Henareh, European Managing Director, Stericycle ExpertSolutions, added: “The toy manufacturers of Europe are in a difficult spot, they must comply with a wide range of regulations, while also facing mounting external pressures from elsewhere.
"The figures highlight the extent of this problem, but really the question is how to fix it. Companies can experience high levels of brand damage by going through a recall or safety notification, especially in relation to children’s goods. Avoiding the recall entirely is the preferred solution, but if it has to happen, doing it quickly and efficiently is crucial.”
Read the complete Stericycle Q3 2014 European Recall and Notification Index here.
The BTHA (British Toy and Hobby Association) has responded to Stericyle's findings below:
"These findings make no distinction between the reputable and non reputable sides of the toy industry," said Natasha Crookes, director of public affairs and communications, at the BTHA.
"On our assessment the RAPEX notifications are from non reputable companies outside of our membership. We strongly agree that these toys should be precluded from entering the market as a danger to consumers. A clear differentiation should be made to avoid scaring consumers into thinking this covers all toys."