Members of St Pauls Chambers are highly experienced in toy safety law. They can represent and advise parties on toy safety regulations.
Toy safety law is a complicated subject area and we recommend consulting a toy safety regulations barrister for advice and representation when it comes to toy safety law cases.
In June 2009, the EU’s new Toy Safety Directive – Directive 2009/48/EC – was published. It substantially amends the old Directive across virtually all safety aspects and fulfils to the highest level the newest health and safety standards. This Directive has been transposed by EU countries into their own legislation.
The new toy safety law Directive is aimed at simplifying the current legislative framework and increasing quality and efficiency. These toy safety regulations deal with warnings, 19 ‘heavy-elements’ that are not allowed in children’s toy parts beyond set limits, chemical requirements, allergenic fragrances and more.
The main issue for manufactures will be knowing what the raw materials they have used in components and materials contain. For example, much plastic is now traded so it is impossible to work out what samples contain. Testing costs have increased, probably in an attempt to set limitations on unregulated Far Eastern manufacturers where the main issue is sourcing raw materials and being able to trace those materials through the supply chain.
Every toy supplied in the UK must comply with toy safety law – the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011. According to these toy regulations, toys are classed as “products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old”.
Such toys must follow safety requirements regarding design, construction, composition and particular risks. The list of particular risks is as follows:
Toy safety regulations protect the child, or children, who are playing with toys, as well as third parties.
Toy safety law also sets out the labelling and warning signs that must be present on various toys. They must be obvious, easy to read and permanent. One of the most common labels is the CE mark which indicates that the manufacturer has met the toy regulations.
If you fail to properly follow toy safety law, then you risk serious consequences including fines or imprisonment.
In all probability, the most committed offence will be not having a full technical file as the requirement to produce one within 30 days will be difficult to comply with on a retrospective basis.
Product Recalls affect businesses of all sizes and from all regions. Toys are subject to product recall, as are food items, electrical goods, pharmaceuticals and more.
The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 introduce duties for the notification of unsafe products. You can find further guidance in the European Commission good practice guide titled ‘Product Safety in Europe’. Also, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute allows any business to share their product recall or safety notice on their website.
The Trading Standards are able to suspend the sale of dangerous toys. However, traders can appeal a suspension and, if the toys are deemed safe, they can claim for damages for loss of profit. A specialist toy safety regulations barrister is best positioned to help you with your case and appeal.
Jeremy Barnett, toy safety regulations barrister and member of St Pauls Chambers, has successfully represented toy companies where claims that products were unsafe were overturned. For example, in one case damages for loss of profits of approximately £100,000 were recovered from the Trading Standards.
Chambers is centrally located within walking distance of the train station, secure car parks and the Courts.
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