EU chiefs call for better toy safety standardsA vote on safety could see tougher rules for toys

04 November 2008

A vote this week on toy safety standards could see dangerous toys blocked from entering Europe and any that slip through banned more quickly.

UK toy safety laws are 20 years old, and Arlene McCarthy MEP is calling for six amendments, as she believes that the current laws do not properly protect UK children from new risks and threats.

Importers' responsibility

Around 95% of UK toys, and around 80% of EU toys are currently imported from China.

Arlene McCarthy wants importers to be held responsible for ensuring that the toys they introduce to the country are safe. 

Other changes to the law that Arlene McCarthy is campaigning for include giving EU countries the power to ban toys more quickly if they're found to pose a risk to children. She also wants better rules on choking hazards.

'Recalls must be the last resort'

Arlene McCarthy is also calling for the ban of allergenic fragrances in toys, and the use of toxic substances such as those linked to cancer, unless proven safe by a scientific committee and no other alternative is available.

Arlene McCarthy said: 'Recalls must be the last resort. This law needs to set tough standards to ensure dangerous toys never make it onto the shop shelves. Last year we had a number of toy safety scares and toxic toy headlines.'

The vote on Thursday by an EU committee on toy safety will be followed by further votes before any law change could come into force in the UK.

For Which? advice on child safety, read our child safety equipment advice guide. You might also be interested in our child car seats guide.

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