Effective market surveillance stops substandard toys reaching children

The European Union’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products (RAPEX) prevented many substandard toys from reaching European consumers last year, according to a European Commission report released today.Once again, over 94% of the toy brands notified on RAPEX in 2013 were not members of Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) or its national association members. Of the few notifications that concerned our members’ brands, some were identified as fake copies of the original brands. Reputable companies recognise RAPEX as an important part of the toy industry’s process to guarantee safety and deal with any notifications of their products appropriately. TIE and its members fully support effective market surveillance and enforcement that prevent substandard toys from reaching children.As children are a vulnerable consumer group, national authorities pay a lot of attention to toys. This is evident given that 580 toys were notified on RAPEX in 2013. The number of toy notifications is not, however, an indication that toys are an unsafe product category. If authorities paid the same attention to other consumer product categories, their number of notifications would multiply.

As acknowledged by European Commission Vice-President, Antonio Tajani, Europe has the strictest legislation on toys in the world and toys are one of the most strictly regulated consumer goods in the European Union. Reputable toy manufacturers take their responsibilities seriously and are committed to the safety of the toys they produce. However, even the strictest rules will not stop rogue companies from putting inferior products on the market, which is why market surveillance measures are so important.

Parents can also play a role in ensuring that their children play safely by buying trustworthy toy brands from reputable retailers, selecting suitable toys, making sure they are used as intended, supervising play, and keeping young children away from toys that are intended for older children.

Further information about the European Commission’s 2013 RAPEX report is available here.

To learn more about the lengths reputable toy manufacturers go to to guarantee safety, watch this short video.

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