New limit values for aluminum and formaldehyde in toys

Category: product safety Industry: consumer goods Author: Year:
Philipp Reusch

Two changes to the Toy Safety Directive (PDF) will be made on 20 and 21 May 2021 which will involve additional duties for toy manufacturers. Directive (EU) 2019/1922 (PDF) reduces the allowable values for aluminum from 5,625 mg/kg to 2,250 mg/kg in dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material, from 1,406 mg/kg to 560 mg/kg in liquid or sticky toy material and from 70,000 mg/kg to 28,130 mg/kg in scraped-off toy material. Directive (EU) 2019/1929 (PDF) introduces new formaldehyde limit values for toys which are intended for use by children under 36 months. These limit values are 1.5 mg/l (migration limit) in polymeric materials, 0.1 ml/m3 (emission limit) in resin-bonded wood material, 30 mg/kg (content limit) in textile material, 30 mg/kg (content limit) in leather material, 30 mg/kg (content limit) in paper material and 10 mg/kg (content limit) in water-based material.

The Toy Safety Directive is part of the EU's harmonized system of product regulations, the centerpiece of which is the Product Safety Directive (PDF), which was implemented into German law by the Product Safety Act  [Produktsicherheitsgesetz]. This Act defines general requirements for products which are placed on the market in the European Economic Area, particularly in § 3(1) of the Product Safety Act. Extended requirements apply for certain product groups in accordance with § 3(2) of the Product Safety Act in conjunction with the Product Safety Ordinance [Produktsicherheitsverordnung], as amended.

These products include toys for which the EU Toy Safety Directive was enacted. The Toy Safety Directive was implemented into German law by the 2nd Product Safety Ordinance , which defines rules for the placement of toys on the market. Beginning with § 3, the 2nd Product Safety Ordinance (only in German) defines extensive requirements for manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors with  respect to the manufacture and labeling of toys, as well as documentation and notification requirements. The 2nd Product Safety Ordinance also makes reference to the particular safety requirements in Annex II of the Toy Safety Directive, above all in § 3(1) and § 10(1) Sentence 1 of the Ordinance. Annex II was amended by the two new Directives on 9 and 10 December 2019, and the changes are to be implemented by the member states as of 20 and 21 May 2021.

[May 2021]