On 30 June 2009 the new Toy Safety Directive was published.
- It substantially amends the old Directive across virtually all safety aspects.
- It fulfils to the highest level the newest health and safety standards.
- It improves the existing rules for the marketing of toys that are produced in and imported into the EU in view to reducing toy related accidents and achieving long-term health benefits.
According to its Better Regulation initiative, the Commission has also engaged in simplifying the current legislative framework and increasing its quality and efficiency.
Directive 2009/48/EC applies to toys defined as “products designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age”.
It foresees 19 products not to be considered as toys within the meaning of the Directive and 5 toys the Directive is not applying to (for example, toy steam engines, slings…etc.).
This new Directive came into force on 20 July 2009, and will become a legal document in all Member States once it has been implemented into national legislation (by 20 January 2011).
The Member States must begin applying the new measures from 20 of July 2011, except for annex II part III (chemical requirements).
The new Directive brings in particular more references on chemicals by limiting the amounts of certain chemicals that may be contained in materials used for toys.
Chemicals that are susceptible to provoke cancer, change genetic information or harm reproduction, so-called CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or toxic for Reproduction) substances, are no longer allowed in accessible parts of toys.
For certain substances like nickel tolerable limit values have been introduced and certain heavy metals which are particularly toxic, like lead, may no longer be intentionally used in those parts of toys that are accessible to children.
Allergenic fragrances are either completely forbidden, if they have a strong allergenic potential, or have to be labeled on the toy if they are potentially allergenic for some consumers.
The Commission elaborated an explanatory guidance document. This guidance document is intended to be a manual for all parties directly or indirectly affected by Directive 2009/48/EC, commonly referred to as the TSD (Toy Safety Directive). The guidelines are intended to help ensure the free movement of Toys in the Community territory by consensus amongst Member States’ government experts and other parties concerned.