TIE – Toy Industries of Europe – welcomes the call from MEPs for the Digital Services Act (DSA) to close loopholes that allow unsafe toys to be sold on online marketplaces. With the Toy Safety Directive, the EU has one of the best instruments to ensure that toys legally placed on the market are safe for children to play with. These rules should be enforceable both in the offline and online world.
Our recent report, ‘EU Toy Safety: the problem of unreputable sellers on online marketplaces’ showed that non-branded toys that are dangerous to play with are widely available on online marketplaces. 97% of the toys were non-compliant with EU law and 76% of the toys that were tested were unsafe for children.
Strict rules are useless if they are not properly enforced. We therefore welcome the European Parliament’s call for rules to oblige platforms to screen sellers and collect verified contact information (know your business customer requirements) and the call for safeguards and measures to prevent the sale of non-compliant products on online market places. It is crucial that marketplaces take action before dangerous toys are put up for sale. Focussing on reactive measures only, such as on notices from consumers and market surveillance authorities has proven ineffective and may put children’s lives at risk.
We hope the Commission will include these points in their proposal for the DSA.