The European Union’s (EU) rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products (RAPEX) stopped numerous substandard toys from reaching European children last year, according to European Commission statistics released today.
Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) and its members believe that RAPEX plays an important role in guaranteeing product safety. Effective market surveillance and enforcement are vital to prevent second-rate toys from ending up in children’s hands. TIE also recognises that children are a vulnerable consumer group and therefore understands that national authorities pay a lot of attention to toys. TIE’s Director General, Catherine Van Reeth, said: ‘The fact that 650 toys were notified on RAPEX in 2014 shows just how much attention national authorities pay to spotting substandard toys, and rightly so. This number is not a sign that toys are an unsafe product category; if authorities focused on other consumer product categories to the same extent, their number of notifications would increase substantially.’
‘It is interesting to note that 96% of the toy brands notified on RAPEX in 2014 were not members of TIE or its national association members. The reputation of those brands that are not involved in associations – and the attention they pay to safety – is questionable. The few notifications that concerned our members – reputable companies that are committed to toy safety – were dealt with promptly and effectively,’ said Catherine Van Reeth. She added: ‘Even the strictest rules will not stop dishonest companies from putting inferior products on the market, which is why market surveillance measures are so important.’
Catherine Van Reeth noted that parents can also play a role in making sure that their children play safely: ‘We advise parents to buy trustworthy toy brands from reputable retailers, select suitable toys, make sure they are used as intended, supervise play, and keep young children away from older children’s toys.’
The European Commission’s 2014 RAPEX statistics are available 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