Obligations of businesses
In addition to product requirements, there are statutory obligations for entrepreneurs, i.e. the manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors of the toy.
Manufacturer refers to a business that manufactures a toy or has it manufactured and markets it under its name or trademark. The toy manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that it is safe and compliant. The manufacturer must carry out all the conformity assessment procedures relating to the toy, draw up the required documents and affix the necessary markings to the toy or its packaging. The manufacturer’s obligations are listed in sections 5–8 of the Toy Act.
The manufacturer must investigate and record complaints and claims. In the serial production of toys, procedures must be in place to ensure that all toys meet the essential statutory requirements. The manufacturer must test the toy if necessary. You can find more information on the obligations of the toy manufacturer on the Tukes website.
Authorised representative refers to a business established within the EU that has received a written mandate from the manufacturer to act on their behalf in relation to specified tasks. The duties of the authorised representative are listed in section 9 of the Toy Act. You can find more information on the duties of the authorised representative on the Tukes website.
Importer refers to a business established within the EU that places toys imported from a third country on the EU market. The importer must ensure that the manufacturer has fulfilled their obligations regarding the assessment of the toy’s conformity, drawn up the required documentation, and affixed the necessary markings. The importer is responsible for ensuring that the toys comply with the European requirements and any specific national requirements. The importer’s obligations are listed in sections 10–16 of the Toy Act. You can find more information on the obligations of the toy importer on the Tukes website.
Distributor refers to a company that sells toys that have been manufactured in the EU or already been placed on the EU market by importer. The distributor is a business in the supply chain other than the manufacturer or the importer. Distributors include toy retailers and wholesalers. A distributor operating in Finland must check that the toy has the required markings, instructions and warnings in Finnish and Swedish. The distributor’s obligations are listed in sections 17–19 of the Toy Act. You can find more information on the obligations of the toy distributor on the Tukes website.
According to the legislation, an operator importing toys to Finland can be either an importer (importing toys from outside the EU) or a distributor (importing toys from the EU market). You can find more information on the obligations of operators on the Tukes website.
You can also find the obligations of operators in table format on the Tukes website.
You can find more information on the responsibilities of operators in the I Know My Product webinars (in Finnish:
- I Know My Product webinar about roles and responsibilities
- I Know My Product webinar about the requirements of online stores, stores and marketing from Tukes’ perspective
- I Know My Product webinar about the seller’s responsibility in the online store from the perspective of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority
You can also find more information on responsibilities from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (in Finnish):
Remote sales is a trade in which the buyer and the seller are not simultaneously present. Online stores are typical examples of remote sales. The product’s delivery method is irrelevant in remote sales. It is also a distance sale if the delivery method has been agreed as a store pick up, and the purchase agreement has itself been made at a distance. Remote sales have exceptions compared with normal trading. You can find more information on the rules of remote sales, such as advance information, on the website of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.
The statutory requirements for toys are the same, regardless of where the toys are sold. However, in an online store, a toy and its packaging are not physically viewable, so online stores must provide consumers with information relevant to the safe use of the toy when it is sold. A toy can be considered dangerous or non-compliant based on the information provided in the online store alone if the information provided is incorrect, or if the advertising is non-compliant.
You should acknowledge the following matters at least:
- The online store must provide information relevant to safety and/or purchasing decisions: The consumer must be able to determine whether a toy is safe for a child of a certain age.
- The information provided on the product must not be misleading (for example, a toy that is dangerous for young children is marketed with a picture of a baby).
- Warnings that are essential for using the toy safely, as well as age or size restrictions, are information that must be provided.
You can also obtain more information from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority:
- Seller’s online store responsibility from the perspective of the Consumer Protection Act (in Finnish)
- Online, mail and telephone sales are remote sales
Private label refers to a product that a business markets under its name or trademark, even if the product was originally manufactured by another company. Sometimes such a business calls itself a “commissioner”, but from the perspective of toy legislation, the business is the manufacturer. As the business is thus the toy’s manufacturer, it is subject to all the manufacturer’s responsibilities.
The business cannot delegate responsibility for the conformity of the product. Instead, it must be familiar with the product’s characteristics and manufacturing process, as well as own the documents that demonstrate the conformity of the product.
The importer or distributor is considered the manufacturer when
- the toy is placed on the market under its own name or trademark, or
- a toy that has already been placed on the market is altered in a manner that may affect the compliance with the applicable requirements.
You can find more information about the private label in the I Know My Product webinar: Private label (in Finnish).