The technological developments in the toys market have raised new issues with respect to the safety of toys, and made consumers express increased preoccupations in this regard.
The experience made with the operation of the "old" Directive 88/378/EEC on the safety of toys led to the conclusion that there was a need to update and complete the safety requirements, in particular in areas such as noise and chemicals in toys and choking hazards presented by toys in food. At the same time, market surveillance authorities highlighted the need to ensure a coherent approach, in particular in the areas of implementation of legislation and of market surveillance, towards a very different market compared to the market existing at the time when Directive 88/378/EEC entered into force in 1988.
The new Directive 2009/48/EC, therefore, needed to be adapted to those developments. According to its Better Regulation initiative, the Commission had also engaged in simplifying the legislative framework and in increasing its quality and efficiency.
Directive 2009/48/EC is the first sectoral Directive to incorporate and be aligned to the general framework for the marketing of products in the EU, the so called “goods package”.
(Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products, and repealing Regulation (EEC) no 339/93 and Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, and repealing Council Decision 93/465/EEC).
The objective of these guidelines is to clarify certain matters and procedures referred to in Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of toys. The guidelines should be used in conjunction with the Directive and with the European Commission’s 'Blue Guide' on the implementation of EU product rules 2014:
The objective of these guidelines is to provide guidance on how to ensure that the information in instructions and warnings is accessible and can be understood by the consumers, those who buy or play with the toy, so they can use the toy safely and appropriately.
The new measures are meant to improve the warnings effectiveness in the prevention of accidents. Therefore, toys should be accompanied by clearly visible, easily legible and understandable warnings in order to reduce inherent risks of their use. Bear in mind that some toys that are safe for one category of children or under certain use conditions, might be hazardous for other children or under other use circumstances.
These guidelines are not only for the use of Member States’ competent authorities, but also by the main economic operators concerned, such as manufacturers, their trade associations, bodies in charge of the preparation of standards as well as those entrusted with the conformity assessment procedures.
First and foremost, this document must ensure that, when correctly applied, the directive leads to the removal of obstacles and difficulties related to the free circulation (free movement) of goods within the European Community. It should be noted that the statements in these guidelines refer only to the application of Directive 2009/48/EC unless otherwise indicated. All parties concerned should be aware of other requirements, which may also apply (see http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/toys/safety/legislation/index_en.htm#other)
The images appearing in this document constitute examples intended to facilitate the comprehension. They do not presuppose the conformity of the represented products.
Rev. 1.9 2016