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 Directiveback