SAFETY OF TOYS | Evaluation of the European Directive 2009/48/EC | Commission Staff Working Document - Executive Summary


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Toys have to be safe when children play with them. The Toy Safety Directive (Directive 2009/48/EC) therefore lays down rules to make toys safe, including when they are exposed to children’s sometimes ‘unforeseeable’ behaviour.

At the same time, the Directive ensures the successful functioning of the internal market for toys, worth almost EUR 20 billion a year. The toy industry is dynamic and innovative: around one third of the toys on the market each year have new features or are newly developed.

The Toy Safety Directive has been adapted 12 times since its adoption, resulting most often in strict(er) limit values for hazardous chemicals that might be present in toys, such as for chromium VI, lead, phenol and bisphenol A. There is a focus on chemicals because knowledge about their toxicity evolves more often than knowledge about other hazards in toys; chemicals are more often recognised to be more hazardous than previously known.

This evaluation of the Toy Safety Directive assesses the functioning of the Directive since its entry into force. It is based on the following sources:

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