EU Issues Guidance for Soft-Filled Toys with Sequins

On February 19, 2019, the Administrative Cooperation (ADCO) group of the Expert Group on Toy Safety, which is a group of market surveillance authorities supported by the European Commission, issued a note regarding the age grading of sequin-covered soft-filled toys. The decision given in the document represents the view of the majority of market surveillance authorities.

The increasing popularity of these toys and the potential for safety issues has raised regulatory concern. Unlike plush toys covered with soft textiles, the surfaces of the sequin toys are comparatively hard and rough. Some manufacturers market them as toys for children above 3 years old.

The ADCO concluded that the sequin-covered toy has a similar design to soft-filled toys with coverings from which pieces can be bitten or torn off. Such toys should, therefore, meet the requirements in clause 8.3 (torque test) and 8.4 (tension test) as required in 5.1 (toys intended for children under 36 months, general requirements) under EN 71-1.

Sequin-covered soft-filled toys must be safe for children of all ages. Manufacturers are not allowed to add the age warning, “Not suitable for children under 3 years old”, nor the age warning symbol on the toys to circumvent the small part requirements.