Toy Association Advocates for Streamlined Approach to Toy Regulations in Gulf Region

safetyDecember 21, 2020 | The Toy Association participated in the Gulf Standards Organization’s (GSO) virtual Economic Operators Day on December 14, sharing the U.S. toy industry’s position and recommendations for the GSO technical toy regulations.

The Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, applauded the alignment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ toy safety standards with EU requirements, and suggested acceptance of U.S. ASTM F963 and the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) 8124 as additional steps to consider to further reduce global trade barriers for toys. Kaufman also stressed the conformity assessment procedures required by some GCC member states were unduly onerous (contrary to the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement), and that better communication between standards organizations in these countries, producers, and test laboratories was needed.

“Unfortunately, many toy producers who operate globally produce the same product, compliant with all global regulations, but end up having to jump through multiple hoops created by countries’ differing conformity assessment processes,” said Kaufman. “Such disparate procedures do not improve safety but simply add cost and act as barriers to trade. The Toy Association provided the GSO with some recommended steps to reduce these effects and alleviate costs and confusion for producers, importers, retailers, and consumers about the safety of all toys. We will continue to advocate for changes that can help create a more streamlined and less-costly approach for all parties, while remaining protective of children’s safety.”

Members will be kept apprised of any new developments on this issue. Questions and comments may be directed to Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association.