• Antony Kirrane

New Toy Safety Standards Coming Soon

The safety standards with which toys need to comply will be changing as of 28th February 2019 since the presumption of conformity of the old references will cease. If you have read this far and are thinking “what on earth does that mean!!” don’t worry, its simpler than you think.

When the EN71 toy safety standards are updated, The EU Commission must decide if they address the requirements of the legislation or in this case, the Toy Safety Directive. Where this decision is positive, the Commission will then publish the references in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU), which means these standards give a presumption of conformity. A presumption of conformity means that if your toy complies with the standards you can consider that it complies with the regulation. When the Commission publish these references, they set a date by which the old standards no longer give a presumption of conformity or the “Date of cessation of presumption of conformity”. So, old standard goes “out of date by…” whatever date is selected. The publication in the OJEU is summarised in the table below this article.

What is changing

The EN71-1, EN71-3, EN71-7 and EN71-14 standards have all been updated last year, as can be seen in the table below. The new standards must be used to demonstrate conformity by the end of February. Easy right? Truth be told this is one of the most complicated updates we have had for years because of...the notes!

The Notes – the devil in the detail

The requirements for trampolines are being updated for the first time

EN71-1 (covering physical and mechanical properties) and EN71-14 (covering domestic trampolines) do not have any notes and the latest published versions need to be used by the end of February but EN71-3 and EN71-7 both have notes about the standards which affect the presumption of conformity.

EN71-3 (which covers heavy elements in toy materials) has a note about both the limit for Lead and the limit for Chromium VI. These notes simply reflect the fact that the limits in the toy directive will change:

- The limit for Lead changed to 2,0 mg/kg in dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material; 0,5 mg/kg in liquid or sticky toy material; 23 mg/kg in scraped-off toy material.

This change already occurred in October 2018 and this is already reflected in the standard. There is no action to be taken here.

- The limit for Chromium VI changed to 0,02 mg/kg in dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material; 0,005 mg/kg in liquid or sticky toy material; 0,053 mg/kg in scraped-off toy material.

This change won’t occur until November 2019, but this limit will have to be followed, regardless of what is in the standard. It is hoped that a new version of EN71-3 will be available by then and there will be a new referenced standard, without any notes.

The requirement for finger paints often follow the regulations for cosmetics

EN71-7 (which specifies ingredient requirements for finger paints) also has a note mentioned. Unusually for such notes, this is not referencing any particular requirement of the Toy Safety Directive. It concerns a preservative, Climbazole, which has been subject to review by the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. The committee have made some recommendations with respect to restriction in the Cosmetic Products Regulation, I source heavily used for the preservatives listed in EN71-7. This note requires that the recommendations for a limit on the use of climbazole be followed in finger paints, regardless of what is found in the standard.

What do I need to do?

Easy – comply with the standards and the limits set in the notes. But how….

Firstly, you will need to make sure your declaration of conformity (DoC) is up to date with the latest standard references. Remember, EN71-1 and EN71-3 affect most toys. The DoC need not be updated if you have carried out an assessment showing that your products are not affected.

Make sure your toys comply with the new requirements, whether it is the projectile requirements in EN71-1, the new limits on Lead content or the new requirements for trampolines, if you believe your toys may be affected, check the details.

You will also need to take note of the notes! The new Chromium VI limit from November 19 and the limit for climbazole use in finger paints.

I will end with a nod to my mantra “compliance is mandatory, testing is not”. You do not have to have your products retested, if you know they already comply with the new requirements.

If you need further information about what to do about these changes, the content of the new standards or any questions at all, just email!

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I was comparing the requirements of the UK Toys DoC with the original requirements of the EU Toys DoC. I thought this info might be useful for everyone... As you can see they are pretty much identical