• May 18, 2020
  • WTO

Australia | Review of the mandatory safety standards for children’s toys – Consultation paper


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Title of document
Review of the mandatory safety standards for children’s toys – Consultation paper (29 page(s), in English)

Description
The ACCC is proposing to update the mandatory safety standard for children’s toys containing magnets to allow suppliers to comply with any of the following widely-adopted voluntary standards: International Standard (ISO 8124-1:2018 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties) European Standard (EN 71-1:2014+A1:2018 Safety of toys – Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties) American Standard (ASTM F963 – 17 Standard consumer safety specification for toy safety) Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2019 – Safety of toys Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties, which is a domestic adoption of the International Standard). The proposed safety standard would not impose any requirements other than those contained in these standards. Allowing compliance with these standards would reduce the current regulatory complexity and duplication for suppliers, thereby reducing technical barriers to trade. While these standards have comparable requirements to the current mandatory safety standard, they intend to reduce the consumer hazard by limiting the scope of toys that are permitted to be supplied with ‘loose as-received’ small high-powered magnets. The attached consultation paper outlines our preliminary consideration of the hazards and policy approaches for five children's toys standards, including the mandatory safety standard for children's toys containing magnets.

Notifying member: Australia

NotificationG/TBT/N/AUS/120

Objective tag
Protection of human health or safety

Objective
The objective of the mandatory safety standard is to reduce the risk of serious injury or death to children under 14 years of age from swallowing small high-powered magnets in toys. The current mandatory safety standard was introduced in response to incidents of serious injuries to children in Australia and the death of a child in the United States after swallowing several small high-powered magnets released from a toy. When swallowed, small high-powered magnets attract to one another in a child's intestine and can cause enough damage that the weakened intestines can burst open. If the bowel bursts, it becomes a life-threatening surgical emergency. In most cases, removal of the magnets will require surgery even if they haven't yet caused a perforation.


Agency responsible
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)


Timing:

  • Submission: 14/05/2020
  • Reception: 14/05/2020
  • Distribution: 18/05/2020
  • Final date for comments: 17/07/2020
  • Proposed date of adoption: N/A

                   

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