EN 71-3 update - the annoying details!
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Another month passes and we see another update to the toy safety standards. This time it is EN 71-3 again. This standard is used for most toys and many other children's products so it is worth knowing the detail of what is going on.
An updated version of EN 71-3 was published in April 2019. It contains new, lower limits for Chromium VI. The limits and changes are highlighted below. The limit value for scraped off materials has been dropped to a value that represents the lowest level the test method can currently detect.
This new version of EN 71-3 has just been published in the EU official journal. The date the old standard expires is the 15th April 2020. Until then, both the 2018 and 2019 versions can be used to show conformity with the Toy Safety Directive.
However, to make things really complicated, the new limit values appear in the toy safety directive, and so they must be complied with as of 18th November 2019 to ensure compliance with the law. Essentially you should use the new EN 71-3 NOW!
It is important to remember that carrying out a retest is not a requirement of the law. The requirement is only to comply with the limit.
It may be possible to use existing test reports to check for Chromium VI results and declare yourself compliant.
As mentioned, the limit value is on the edge of the capability of the current method. It may be worth checking with your test lab to see what their detection and reporting limits are. For a small fee, they may even do all the checking for you.
In summary, I'll leave you with three points
1. Be aware of the new standard
2. Start to use it now
3. Check your old test reports (or ask your lab) to see if existing products comply