Revi­si­on of the Toy Directive!

New Euro­pean legal frame­work for toys is coming

Revi­si­on of the Toys Direc­ti­ve – Par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of eco­no­mic stake­hol­ders still pos­si­ble until 2 Novem­ber 2021!

Curr­ent­ly, Direc­ti­ve 2009/48/EC on the safe­ty of toys (Toys Direc­ti­ve) (PDF) defi­nes the requi­re­ments that toys must meet in order to be pla­ced on the mar­ket in the EU. In the cour­se of a reas­sess­ment of the Toys Direc­ti­ve, the Euro­pean Com­mis­si­on iden­ti­fied seve­ral gaps within the exis­ting regu­la­to­ry frame­work that could put child­ren’s health and safe­ty at risk. Defi­ci­en­ci­es were iden­ti­fied par­ti­cu­lar­ly with regard to the use of che­mi­cals in toys. In addi­ti­on, mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce was jud­ged to be ina­de­qua­te.
Based on this, the exis­ting Toy Direc­ti­ve is to be repla­ced by a Euro­pean Regu­la­ti­on accor­ding to the will of Euro­pean law­ma­kers. In addi­ti­on to stric­ter regu­la­ti­ons for the use of che­mi­cals and stric­ter mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce, a regu­la­ti­on is also expec­ted to ensu­re uni­form hand­ling of the regu­la­ti­ons in the mem­ber sta­tes, sin­ce the regu­la­ti­on, unli­ke the direc­ti­ve, no lon­ger needs to be trans­po­sed into natio­nal law.

Reasons for the initia­ti­ve to revi­se the Toys Directive

The incep­ti­on impact assess­ment published by the EU Com­mis­si­on (Ref. Ares(2021)6045960 – 10/05/2021) on its initia­ti­ve to revi­se the Toys Direc­ti­ve sta­tes, among other things, that:

  • the requi­re­ments of the Direc­ti­ve to ensu­re the pro­tec­tion of child­ren from che­mi­cal risks are incomplete;
  • the Direc­ti­ve only employ­ers the Com­mis­si­on to set limits for any che­mi­cals in toys for child­ren under 36 months and in toys inten­ded to be taken in the mouth, even though the same che­mi­cals may pre­sent a risk to older child­ren in other toys;
  • cur­rent limits for (the car­ci­no­ge­nic) nitros­ami­nes and their pre­cur­sors are too high;
  • new risks, in par­ti­cu­lar the risks for per­so­nal data and pri­va­cy pro­tec­tion from Internet-connected toys, such as dolls or robots that ‘com­mu­ni­ca­te? with child­ren, are not addres­sed ade­qua­te­ly by the Directive.

Accor­ding to the EU Com­mis­si­on, the Direc­ti­ve (Source: Ref. Ares(2021)6045960 – 10/05/2021) also lacks effec­ti­ve­ness in the com­pli­ance and enforce­ment of its rules. Mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce effi­ci­en­cy is chal­len­ged by dif­fi­cul­ties in obtai­ning the safe­ty docu­men­ta­ti­on of toys, or when try­ing to iden­ti­fy eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors in online sales. Une­qual trans­po­si­ti­on of the num­e­rous adapt­a­ti­ons of the Direc­ti­ve into natio­nal law, both on sub­s­tance and in time, are a fur­ther obs­ta­cle to the Sin­gle Mar­ket. Final­ly, the eva­lua­ti­on also con­cluded that the cur­rent report­ing obli­ga­ti­ons do not ensu­re the avai­la­bi­li­ty of com­pa­ra­ble and con­sis­tent data for moni­to­ring and evaluation.

The aim of the initia­ti­ve to revi­se the Toys Directive

Final­ly, the eva­lua­ti­on also con­cluded that the cur­rent report­ing obli­ga­ti­ons do not ensu­re the avai­la­bi­li­ty of com­pa­ra­ble and con­sis­tent data for moni­to­ring and eva­lua­ti­on. If no action were taken, child­ren could be expo­sed to cer­tain che­mi­cal risks, espe­ci­al­ly long-term risks from cer­tain hazar­dous che­mi­cals. Also, taking action against non-compliant toys on the mar­ket would remain challenging.

Con­sul­ta­ti­on of stake­hol­ders required

Stake­hol­ders still have until 2 Novem­ber 2021 to pro­vi­de their input on the EU Com­mis­si­on’s initia­ti­ve to revi­se the Toys Directive

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