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Updated List of EU Harmonised Toy Safety Standards Published, Showing Two ‘First Publications’ Which will be of Interest to Hong Kong’s Toy Sellers

The toy safety Directive sets out the essential safety requirements with regard to toys. These include the particular safety requirements regarding physical and mechanical properties, flammability, chemical properties, electrical properties and hygiene.

Further and more specific technical details are adopted by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) in the form of harmonised standards.

Conformity of their products with harmonised standards, the reference numbers and titles of which are published in the EU’s Official Journal, will provide Hong Kong’s toy exporters with a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the EU’s toy safety Directive.

If the standards are followed and applied correctly, the toys covered by them may be sold without obstacle anywhere in the EU. In order to keep up with technical developments, the Commission issues mandates to CEN or CENELEC, which then prepare new standards as and when required, and in accordance with the given mandates.

The Official Journal publication of 10 August 2018 lists the following titles and references that are marked as the ‘first publication’:

1. EN 71-1:2014+A1:2018 Safety of toys — Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties

This document supersedes EN 71-1:2014 and combines three amendments into one which covers:

  • Cords and drawstrings in toys and packaging: Cords and drawstrings requirements for toy-disguise costumes, as regulated in standard EN 14682, have to become subject to EN 71-1. These requirements cover clothing which can get ensnared when a child is moving. Examples include the entrapment of hood cords when a child is running down a slide, or clothing that can become ensnared in parts of a moving vehicle, such as bus doors, ski lifts or bicycles. The requirements of EN 14682 were adopted with the exception of cords that can break without difficulty under a force of 25N. In addition, clarity was provided for ambiguous interpretations in relation to cords, such as defining a strangulation hazard in the case of two cords attached to a toy, or the differences between a cord, ribbon, strap or a rope.
  • Projectiles, rotors, propellers and flying toys: The amendments to EN 71-1 include kinetic energy density which allows higher speed for projectiles that have a larger impact area, and the exclusion of objects that fly less than 300 mm. Additionally, requirements have been drawn up for projectiles that are propelled by an elastic band, which were previously outside the scope of the standard. Furthermore, new requirements have been added for rotors and propellers on flying toys, such as helicopters and drones.
  • EN 71-1:2014/prA3:2015 Safety of toys - Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties: Various other changes have been made on interpretation, such as of stoppers for aquatic or inflatable toys.

2. EN 71-3:2013+A3:2018 Safety of toys — Part 3: Migration of certain elements

  • The substantial change in EN 71–3:2013+A3:2018 relates to the amendment of the lead migration limits pursuant to Directive 2017/738. According to this Directive, the new limits will become effective on 28 October 2018, as set down below:
Table: New Migration for Lead Limits.
Table: New Migration for Lead Limits.

In order to view the full list of the harmonised European standards falling under Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys (including both the above two first publication titles and those whose titles have been published in the Official Journal on previous occasions), Hong Kong’s toy manufacturers should view the Official Journal Communication of 10 August 2018. The Communication also provides, where appropriate, references to superseded standards.

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