EEP Group

Making toys safer in the digital era – MEP Kelly welcomes progress on new EU rules

Published: Tue, 13 February 2024

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“The EU is the safest place in the world to buy toys due to our robust standards, however increasing online sales and toys coming from non-EU countries can be problematic. That’s why the EU is working on updated toy safety rules and I welcome further progress made today with the endorsement vote of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee”, said Seán Kelly MEP.

“The current EU Directive dates back to 2009 and needs to be revised in order to take account of newer trends, including e-commerce. Last summer, the European Commission proposed the update to improve controls on toys, to protect children from any harmful chemicals and prohibit anything that is deemed unsafe in that regard. Children play with these toys every day and are important for their development, practising valuable skills, teaching them about world we live in or just to give comfort. However, it’s equally as important that parents have the peace of mind knowing that the toys their child plays with are safe. Therefore our rules must ensure that children’s safety is the top priority,” the Ireland South MEP said.

“In 2022, toys were once again at the top of the list of dangerous products in the EU, according to the European Commission’s annual report on the Safety Gate system for dangerous products, with 23% of safety alerts related to toys. This demonstrates an urgent need to take new measures. I am glad that the European Parliament today took a very ambitious approach which includes clear prohibitions on using harmful chemicals in toys.”

The proposals also include requirements for manufacturers or importers to make their contact details publicly available, so customers can file complaints concerning the safety of toys and to inform manufacturers/importers of accidents or safety issues they have experienced.

“It would also seek to enhance enforcement by launching a Digital Product Passport for all toys, which will include information on compliance with the proposed Regulation and will also include essential information for consumers. Another new addition is that under the general safety assessment, manufacturers shall consider the mental health impacts of digitally connected toys on children, where deemed appropriate and according to reasonable best efforts. Modern technology can be very impactful to young children especially, it is vitally important that their  development is considered. I would go further and say that we should have a comprehensive digital literacy programs in schools to teach young people how to use the internet responsibly and safely”, Kelly added.

“As always, if you are unsure about a toy, you can check for the CE mark. All toys sold in the EU must bear the CE mark, which means the products comply with health and safety standards. This is something I would like to highlight to parents, it is very important that the standards labels are recognised when purchases are made”, MEP Kelly underlined.

The proposal for revised EU toy safety rules will come before all MEPs for a plenary vote in March.

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