When selling products directed to children, it’s important to ensure that your products are safe for children to use. Countries across the globe have enforced certain legislations to restrict market access for products that don’t meet safety standards. One of the strictest and most famous in the world is the EU’s EN71 Toy Safety Directive.
In this compliance guide, we’ll take you through the key elements of the EN71 toy safety standard.
What is EN71 Toy Safety Standard?
EN71 is a toy safety standard formulated by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) under the Toys Directive 2009/48/EC. The EN71 toy safety standard was implemented to ensure the safety of children’s toys and prevent harmful products from entering the EU market. As such, it is a mandatory standard for all imported and manufactured toys in the EU to be tested and comply with the applicable EN 71 standards. The standard outlines multiple safety requirements, including flammability, usage of chemicals, and mechanical and physical properties.
What Is Classified as a Toy?
It is important to note the directive is subject to toys or products targeted at children. Under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (Toy Safety Directive), all children’s products or toys targeted 14 years or younger are subject to this directive. Some examples of product categories are below:
- Electronic Toys
- Soft Toys
- Educational Toys
- Arts and Crafts
Sometimes, the difference between an adult and children’s product can be hard to distinguish. As presented in our recent webinar, there are certain criteria that can help a manufacturer know whether or not their product would fall under the “children’s product” category. These includes:
- The play value of the product and how it will be used.
- Where the item is being sold (for example in a toys section in a retail shop).
- The package, advertisement, or label of the product can make the product fall into the EU definition of toys.
- Products with multiple usages (for example a pencil sharpener with a clear children-friendly design).
Watch our webinar co-hosted by SPEAC below to learn more about it:
What Products Are Exempted From EN71?
The directive does not apply to all products intended targeted for 14 years, below are some examples of products that are exempted from the EN71.
- Playground equipment is intended for public use.
- Automatic playing machines intended for public use
- Toy vehicles equipped with combustion engines
- Toy steam engines
- Slings and catapults
Instead, these products fall under other legislation, such as the Community legislation – General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). If you’re not sure whether your product falls under the EU Toys Directive, don’t hesitate to contact HQTS for help.
EN62115 Required For Toys with Electrical Component
While the EN71 European toy safety regulations covers all toys, it is important to note that the toy may be subject for EN 62115 and other EU directives, such as low voltage, if the toy includes any electrical components.
What Are the EN 71 Standards?
The European standard EN 71 specifies safety requirements for toys and covers all aspects of safety for children and their toys – from materials, design, construction, assembly, labeling and packaging.
The standard has been divided into 13 different parts. The majority of toys would fall under the EN71-1 safety standard, but manufacturers must consider all these risks when designing and manufacturing toys.
These are the standards under the Directive 2009/48/EC:
1. EN 71-1: Mechanical and physical properties
2. EN 71-2: Flammability
3. EN 71-3: Specification for migration of certain elements
4. EN 71-4: Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities
5. EN 71-5: Chemical toys (sets) other than experimental sets
6. EN 71-6: Graphical symbols for age warning labeling
7. EN 71-7: Finger paints
8. EN 71-8: Swings, slides, and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use
9. EN 71-9: Organic chemical compounds – Requirement
10. EN 71-10: Organic chemical compounds – Sample preparation and extraction
11. EN 71-11: Organic chemical compounds – Methods of analysis
12. EN 71-12: N-Nitrosamines and N-Nitrosatable Substances
13. EN 71-13: Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits, and gustative games
14. EN 71-14: Trampolines for domestic use
Although the key chapters of the toy standards are rarely changed, it is important to be aware that updates do occur and these will often be very specific and detailed.
What Is EN71 Testing?
EN71 testing is a product that has undergone an EN71 lab testing to assess whether it is compliant with requirements under the Toys Directive 2009/48/EC. The type of tests depends on which EN71 Standard the product falls under, and it can vary from testing the product’s flame retardant properties, and substance restrictions to electrical safety.
The major type of toys safety tests includes:
- Mechanical and physical test
- Flammability safety test
- Chemical analysis: For example heavy metal, phthalates, formaldehyde, and AZO-Dye.
- Toy safety test
- Age warning labeling
- Training and consultation on toy safety issues
- Abuse test
- Warning label
- Tracking label
Do you want to see what an EN71 testing report looks like? Download our free EN71 testing report.
What Does EN71 Certified Mean?
A manufacturer or supplier that states their children’s products are EN71 certified means that the company has tested the product to ensure it meets the safety standards set by European legislation. The company would then have an EN 71 test report that is limited to the particular material or product specification that was subject to the test.
Conclusion: What is the EN71 Toy Safety Standard?
The EN71 Toy Safety Standard is a European Union regulation – and one of the strictest toy safety standards in the world – that governs the safety of toys and children’s products sold in Europe. This safety standard was to prevent harmful products from entering the EU market and protect children.
HQTS is accredited and certified for testing toys and children’s products for compliance with the EU Toy Safety Directive (EN 71) and many other toy safety standards. Do you have any questions about the EN71 testing process or want to ask for a price quotation for EN71 testing? Contact us today!