Topic outline

  • Safety of toys

    A toy and the chemicals contained in it must not constitute a hazard to anyone’s safety or health when the toy is used as intended or in a foreseeable manner. Toys must be safe for their foreseeable and normal period of use.

    A toy must not cause

    • physical injury
    • strangulation
    • suffocation
    • danger of drowning
    • or damage a child’s hearing.

    The Toy Act (1154/2011), the Decree on toys (1218/2011), the Decree on chemical requirements for certain toys (1352/2011) and the REACH Regulation (1907/2006) lay down the fundamental requirements concerning toys.

    In addition, toys can also be subject to requirements under other legislation, depending on the characteristics of the toy. For example, electrical toys must also meet the requirements for electrical products.

    The legislation does not specify how to meet the requirements. Instead, it allows manufacturers some leeway for different technical solutions. The manufacturer must assess the risks associated with the toy they have manufactured. European standards contain further product-specific requirements and test methods for demonstrating that the requirements are met. Alternatively, the manufacturer may choose another way of attesting conformity with the essential requirements of legislation.

    The Tukes website has lists of requirements for specific product groups of different toys and the most common issues found in toys.

    Presumption of conformity

    When a toy is designed and manufactured in accordance with the harmonised standards, the toy obtains a presumption of conformity. This means that the toy is presumed to be compliant with the relevant essential requirements of EU legislation if:

    • the manufacturer has designed, manufactured, examined and tested the toy in accordance with the harmonised standards; and
    • the toy complies fully with all the relevant harmonised standards.

    The manufacturer has no obligation to manufacture the toy in accordance with the standards, because the standards are recommendations in nature, and their use is voluntary. The requirements provided for in acts and decrees are mandatory, meaning that they must be followed.

    Harmonised standard

    The product legislation of the EU sets essential requirements related to safety, health and the environment on certain product groups. In order to make the manufacturing of compliant products easier and to ensure that the requirements of the EU legislation are fulfilled, European or harmonised standards are drawn up, by order of the EU.

    A harmonised standard is a standard drawn up by a European standardisation organisation that has been confirmed upon the request of the European Commission in order to apply the EU product legislation. The references of harmonised standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    Official Journal of the European Union OJEU

    The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the main content source for EUR-Lex. It is published every weekday in the official languages of the EU, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays only in urgent cases.

    The journal has two series:

    • L (legislation)
    • C (communications and notices)

    The subseries CA (e.g. C019A), which is published on the same day and the same number as the C-series, contains calls for expressions of interest and vacancy notices. The CA series journals can appear in one, several, or all of the official languages.

    The new subseries LI and CI were introduced on 1 January 2016. They give flexibility to situations where the planned content of the Official Journal changes. Since 1 July 2013, the electronic version of the Official Journal has been the authentic version of the Official Journal with legal effects.

     Official Journal of the European Union