Requirements for Toy Labels in EU, US, and China

Toys are items designed for children to use in play. They are also useful for mental and physical development as a child grows. However, safety should be a key consideration when choosing toys for children. Toy safety is the practice of ensuring that toys made for children are safe for use under all normal conditions. Safety is confirmed through the proper application of safety standards. In many countries, commercially sold toys must be able to pass these tests to be sold.

A simple indicator of compliance with safety standards is the label. Many countries have adopted regulations to require safety labels. Labeling standards are usually based on, or similar to, China, EU, or USA requirements.

The label must be affixed to the packaging, and in some cases, to the toy itself. Safety labels are a simple resource for persons to review when selecting toys for purchase to understand potential safety concerns, instructions for use, appropriate age range, and other relevant information.


Under USA standards, children’s products that are designed or intended primarily for use by children ages 12 or younger. Such toys are required to have seen and easy to read permanent marks, often referred to as tracking labels.

The labels:

  • Must be affixed to the product and packaging
  • Provide specific identifying information

All tracking labels must contain certain required information, including:

  • Location and date of production
  • Detailed information on the manufacturing process, such as a batch or run number, or other identifying characteristics
  • The manufacturer or private labeler name
  • Any other information to identify the specific source of the product.

EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC:

All toys sold in Europe must comply with the legal requirements as set forth in the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC. The Directive stipulates that the tracking label must be affixed to the toy, packaging, and other materials sold with the toy. The label must include the supplier’s name, registered trademark, and contact address. The address must be the actual direct contact information of the manufacturer.

China GB 5296.5:

In China, the requirements for toy labels documented in GB 5296.5 Instructions for Use for Products of Consumer Interest – Part 5: Toys. The regulation stipulates in GB 5296.5 that the label shall include instructions for use to guide correct use of the toy and mitigate potential harm. The label must include safety warnings, or warning symbols, for the toys that may harm children during the use.

The following items must be on the labeled:

  1. Product name
  2. Product model
  3. Product standard
  4. Appropriate age range
  5. Safety warnings
  6. Name and total content of the primary elements of the materials in stuffed toys
  7. Instructions for use and drawings that assembly is required
  8. Maintenance info
  9. The recommended usable lifespan
  10. Name and address of manufacturer and distributor

Toy Safety Regulations

Country US EU China
Regulation CPSA section (a)(5)

CPSIA section 103

2009/48/EC GB 5296.5
Mandatory Yes/No Yes Yes Yes
Scope Children’s products Toys Toys
Purpose Product tracking Product tracking Instruction for use