The new European toy safety directive, effective since today, tightens rules concerning labelling and safety warnings. Trade federation Comeos points out that most of the toys sold in Belgium are already adhering to the new, stronger rules.
Separate packaging for toys in food
The new directive tackles choking and swallowing hazards of toys, especially those co-packed with food, aimed for children younger than three or wind instrument toys. Toys have to be clearly labelled with age categories, weight and the manufacturer’s name and address – on top of the safety measures mentioned above. Items like Ferrero’s famous Kinder Surprise will have to feature a warning like “toy inside, adult supervision recommended”. These toys, hidden inside food, will also have to be packed in a separate packaging.
The new directive also forces EU member states to appoint market surveillance authorities that can perform checks at the external borders and within the EU itself. Toy manufacturers will have to identify the hazards of their toys through a safety assessment. Some manufacturers are concerned that this will impose heavy costs on smaller firms, who make up the large majority of this sector.