Strong Market Surveillance Helps Children Play Safe

Brussels: Effective and well enforced market surveillance is key to catching companies who don’t play by the rules.

The publication of the 2016 Rapid Alert System Statistics by the European Commission highlights the importance of an effective and well enforced market surveillance system to catch disreputable companies who avoid implementing the rules.

The reputable toy sector takes great care to comply with the strict EU toy safety rules and standards. We believe that a toy should only be described as safe for children to play with if it can withstand rigorous safety testing and meet the highest international standards.

The number of notifications for toys has continued to decrease this year (down by 2.6%). Despite this, toys remain the most notified category on the Rapid Alert System (26% of all notifications). 96% of notifications relate to companies outside TIE’s membership. Those few notifications that did concern members of TIE or its national association members, were dealt with promptly and effectively.

The number of notifications does not mean that toys are unsafe for children however. This is the result of stricter product safety rules and standards, as well as more frequent and effective scrutiny and controls. If all consumer products enjoyed the same level of scrutiny, we would see a comparable number of notifications for other categories.

TIE Director General, Catherine Van Reeth said, “TIE works with the reputable members of the sector and the authorities to make sure that toys are safe for children to play with. The Rapid Alert Notification system is an effective market surveillance tool that helps provide an extra level of protection for consumers. We are pleased to see that the number of notification for toys has again decreased this year”

She added, “Enforcement by authorities must continue playing a key role in ensuring toy safety: we will continue working with public authorities to make sure that stronger efforts to increase market surveillance are put in place.”

Consumers also have a role in helping children to enjoy safe play. This includes, for instance, only buying toys from trustworthy retailers, or keeping an eye out for counterfeit toys and reporting any problems to the manufacturer.

The European Commission’s 2016 Rapid Alert Statistics are available here.