Markings and operating instructions
and user instructions of toys
Toys or their packaging must include:
- name according to commercial practice (tells the consumer what the toy is, and what its intended use is).
- the name and address of the manufacturer
- the name and address of the importer if the manufacturer is located outside the EU
- warning labels
- instructions for use and care relevant to the safe use, such as washing and cleaning instructions for stuffed toys
- the product identifier such as the type, lot, serial or model number, or any other identifier by which the toy can be identified
- CE markings.
Toys placed on the market in Finland must have the information in Finnish and Swedish.
The markings and warnings are affixed to the toy, either to a note on the toy or to its packaging. If labelling and warnings cannot be otherwise affixed, they can be displayed at the point of sale in the immediate vicinity of the toy. In such cases, the information must also be given to the consumer on a separate note, for example.
If the labels and instructions are only on the packaging, you must advise the consumer to keep the package, because it contains important information.
Warning labels and age limits of toys
Warning labels attached to toys and their user instructions must make the users and their supervisors pay attention to the dangers and risks involved with the use of the toy and the methods to avoid them.
When necessary, the toy must come with information on
- the minimum or maximum age of the user, and
- any required skills of the user, their minimum or maximum weight, and whether the toy should be used under adult supervision only.
The warning must be preceded by the words “Warning” or “Warnings”. If a warning has a decisive influence on the purchase decision, it must be affixed to the toy or its packaging so that the consumer can read it before purchase. The same labelling requirements apply to toys sold online.
Example: Warning for a toy unsuitable for children under 3 years of age: “Warning. Not suitable for children under 3 years of age. Contains small parts. Choking hazard.”
The manufacturer must also attach an age limit to the toy if the toy is not intended for children under 3 years of age. The age limit “unsuitable for children under 3 years of age” is based on the safe use of the toy.
If a toy could be dangerous to children under 3 years of age, this can be indicated with the following symbol. The symbol must be accompanied by a brief description of the hazard, such as “Warning! Choking hazard” and it must be at least 10 mm in height. A toy is not required to bear an age limit if it is manifestly unsuitable for children under 36 months on account of its function, dimensions, characteristics or properties, or on other cogent grounds.
The manufacturer may also give an age recommendation. An age recommendation, such as “6+”, represents children’s estimated ability to play with the toy. It is voluntary and based on good customer service.
The CE marking affirms that the toy’s manufacturer or authorised representative ensures that the toy is in compliance with all applicable requirements. Toys equipped with a CE marking can move freely within the entire EU. The marking must be affixed visibly, legibly and permanently to the toy. If this is impossible, the CE marking must be affixed to the toy’s packaging and to the accompanying instructions.
The CE marking must be at least 5 mm in height, and you are not allowed to change its dimensions.
In addition to the CE marking, the toy must bear other required markings such as traceability information. The toy must also come with the necessary instructions and information to ensure its safe and appropriate use and cleaning, for example. The information must be prepared in Finnish and Swedish.
You can find more information on the CE marking on the Tukes website.
User instructions for toys
The consumer must be provided with user instructions that are essential to the safe use of the toy. The user instructions must be in Finnish and Swedish in toys sold in Finland.
Instructions and warnings are only a secondary means of reducing or eliminating the hazards present in a toy. Structural deficiencies in toys cannot be rectified with instructions or warnings.
Example: A company sells balloons in Finland in bulk (cf. pick-and-mix sweets) and unpacks the balloons from the manufacturer’s sales packages. The company must ensure that the buyer receives the necessary instructions and other information with the balloon.