Update: EU Committee Approves Draft for Amendment of the Toy Safety Regulation Reform

toy plane on european union flagFebruary 15, 2024 | Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market & Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) unanimously voted in favor (37 votes) of the draft report to revise the European Union’s (EU) toy safety regulations, covering all toys and games that are sold and marketed in the EU. This would amend the proposed text of the new Toy Safety Regulation (TSR) that will repeal and replace the current Toy Safety Directive (TSD).

The Toy Association™ submitted comments in January to the European Commission in response to the draft proposal, including several recommendations that would effectively strengthen toy safety. Some of the points taken into consideration for the updated proposal include ensuring that sound limits apply only to toys designed to emit a sound; overturning the requirements that would have made it impossible for naturally occurring ingredients to be included in toys; and extending the sell-through period for toys already on the market.

However, the Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), whose stance aligns with that of The Toy Association, outlined the following issues of concern that remain in the draft proposal:

  • The aforementioned sell-through period has been extended from 12 months to 20 months, so any toy that is already on the market when the new rules start applying will have to be traced down and destroyed after the 20 month sell-through period expires.
  • The 30-month transition period from the time the TSR goes into effect remains, which is a tight timeline, especially since new versions of supporting standards have not been established or published, certain exemptions have not been outlined, and the proposed Digital Product Passport — which would be required for each toy and provide information on its compliance — will not be in place by the time the new rule is published.
  • According to TIE, “Online marketplaces – which facilitate the sale of unsafe toys from third-country sellers – have no responsibility for the safety of the toys in the case where there is no seller based in the EU. We need this extended responsibility to ensure that marketplaces will be more careful about who they allow to sell through their platforms.

“While it is encouraging that IMCO has voted to make positive changes, a number of identified issues of concern remain,” said Jos Huxley, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association. “It is crucial for the final version of the new regulation to allow reputable toy companies to provide safe and compliant toys; especially considering that a significant portion of Europe's toy manufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises, and many of the requirements as-proposed could prevent reputable manufacturers from being able to produce safe toys for the EU market, paradoxically leading to an increase in unsafe toys reaching children.”

The Toy Association continues to monitor and engage with TIE and other partners on this issue, and will continue to keep its members apprised of developments. Any questions may be directed to The Toy Association’s  Jos Huxley.