Industry backs new global safety standard

Manufacturers support US and EU plans but warn they must not hamper innovation or market entry.
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Manufacturers including Hornby have said they favour an independent global standard, after a meeting in Brussels yesterday.

However, the firm along with Lego have expressed concerns over its scope and how it would be enforced.

Frank Martin, chief executive, Hornby, said: "We have concerns about the scope and any overzealous adoption of any new regulation which might prevent competition in the market."

Lego CEO, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp (pictured), said: "We must make sure this is sensible legislation. We have concerns that these rules, if not properly thought through could damage new innovation and new producers.”

European consumer groups have pushed for the abolishment of the EU's CE for a new, stricter standard awarded by an independent regulator.

Most manufacturers said they favoured an independent body to award the new standard.

"We are in favour of a global standard supplied by a trusted authority. We do not favour either third party or government authorities. Once they do the job properly," Knudstorp added.

But US firms said they favoured an independent third party and are opposed to any authority set up by the EU's Executive Commission or any U.S. federal agency.

"We prefer a more transparent approach," Carter Keithley, president of the US Toy Industry Association said.

The US and EU are due to meet later in the year to try and reach a trans-Atlantic agreement, which they hope could pave the way for a global agreement.

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