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MEPs want to strengthen current rules and market surveillance to ensure that all toys sold on the EU market, including from third countries and online, are safe.
Parliament points out that if the Toy Safety Directive (TSD) offers children a high level of safety, some third country manufacturers selling their products on the single market, in particular online, do not comply with EU legislation. Therefore, many toys sold in the EU still pose a significant threat.
In a report approved by 688 votes to six, with one abstention, MEPs call on the Commission and member states to step up measures to ensure that all toys placed on the EU market comply with the TSD, regardless of or their place of manufacture.
Toys that are placed on the EU market must comply with specific EU rules on chemicals, the Parliament recalls. The Commission should ensure that endocrine disruptors are banned in toys as soon as they are identified. In addition, the Commission must decide whether the current distinction between toys intended for children under 36 months and those intended for older children should be removed.
A future revision of the TSD should also make it possible to quickly adapt the limit values for dangerous chemicals if necessary and to avoid a situation where different values are set at national level.
Market surveillance and connected toys
Parliament calls on EU Member States to coordinate their market surveillance activities and improve controls to detect dangerous toys more effectively. The use of new technologies, such as electronic labeling and artificial intelligence, should also be explored by the Commission to this end.
Stressing that connected toys can expose children to new dangers and pose a risk to their safety, privacy and mental health, MEPs encourage producers to incorporate safety and security mechanisms into the design of their toys, for example against cyber threats. They ask the Commission to propose rules to solve these problems.
Parliament also asks the Commission to assess whether toy labels could include information on the durability and reparability of the product.
MEPs reiterate that online marketplaces “should be forced to take more responsibility for ensuring the safety and compliance of toys sold on their platforms”, for example by removing dangerous toys and preventing their reappearance.
Rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, IT) said: “The current directive is a good step forward for child safety, but we believe that several problems remain. Among them, the emergence of scientific evidence identifying toxic chemicals and previously unknown risks, and the high number of dangerous toys circulating in online markets. Therefore, we call for a review of EU rules. We also want the Commission to tackle the risks linked to digitalisation, in so-called connected toys, where safety devices for children against cyber threats are insufficient or almost non-existent. Our children deserve the highest possible level of protection when they play and we must do everything we can to ensure this”.
According to EU Security Barrier (the EU rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products), toys were the most notified product category (27% of all notifications) in 2020. Data published by the Commission on December 3, 2021 showed that last year most alerts concerned motor vehicles or related products (27%) and toys (19%).