European Commission’s RAPEX product notification system highlights the importance of effective market surveillance

The European Union’s rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products (RAPEX) stopped many substandard products from reaching European consumers last year, according to a report released by the European Commission today.As reputable toy manufacturers, members of Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) welcome the high level of attention authorities pay to toys. For us, safety is paramount where children are involved. The vulnerable nature of toys’ users, i.e. children, necessitates intense scrutiny. However, we would like to underline that the fact that 366 toys were notified on RAPEX in 2012 does not indicate that toys are an unsafe product category. If other consumer product categories were scrutinised to the same extent as toys, their number of notifications would multiply.As recognised by the European Commission, toys are one of the most strictly regulated consumer goods in Europe, and reputable toy manufacturers 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.

It is interesting to note that, according to TIE’s calculations, 93.4% of the toy brands notified on RAPEX in 2012 were not members of TIE or its national association members. Of the few notifications that concerned brands that are our members, some were identified as potential counterfeits. Our members dealt with any genuine notifications of their products appropriately as these reputable companies recognise RAPEX as an important part of the toy industry’s process to guarantee safety. TIE and its members fully support effective market surveillance and enforcement that prevent substandard toys from reaching children.

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

The European Commission’s 2012 RAPEX report is available to download in here.

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

For media enquiries, please contact the TIE Secretariat on 0032 2 213 41 90