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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

UOKiK: every third toy tested does not meet the standards

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The Trade Inspection inspected 65 models of stuffed animals, balls, soft dolls, masks and costumes. Among other things, the durability of seams, markings, flammability and the presence of too small elements were checked. Every third toy did not meet applicable standards – said the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in a statement.

Eight provincial inspectorates of the Trade Inspection: in Katowice, Kielce, Kraków, Łódź, Olsztyn, Opole, Warsaw, Wrocław, from October to December 2023 checked 30 toy models in terms of formal requirements (e.g. labeling) and in terms of flammability, i.e. hazard resulting from the possibility of the toy catching fire. Wigs, outfits, costumes and soft mascots were examined.

Chinese toys are the most popular

Importers, wholesalers, retail and large-format stores were checked. 27 toy models came from Chinaone each of IndonesiaPolish, Italian. Out of 30 toy models, irregularities were found in six.

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In two cases, required warnings were missing, among others “Keep away from fire” and the consumer did not have adequate information about the risks associated with using the toy. In two further cases an incorrect or missing declaration of conformity was detectedand the rest lacked manufacturer and importer data.

The inspection revealed in one case permissible burning time of the material exceeded, from which the toy was made, which created a risk of burns and fire. In four cases, access to the filling made of fibrous material was found risk of choking or suffocationand in one – elements that are too small, posing a choking hazard if swallowed by a child.

Filled toys dangerous for children

The second inspection – as reported – concerned soft toys with filling. Seven provincial inspectorates of the Trade Inspection (in Łódź, Olsztyn, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław) from January to April 2024 checked the labeling of 35 models of plush mascots, soft books, dolls and balls.

All products have also been verified in the laboratory in terms of safety in terms of construction – availability of filling or the presence of small elements. 24 of the tested toys came from Chinasix from Poland, two from Indonesia, one from Great Britain, German and Sweden.

UOKiK stated that of the 35 toy models, eight had abnormalities: in four cases it was about too small elements, in three – access to the filling made of fibrous material, in one – underestimated foil thickness, and in another it was the wrong shape and size of the handle. “All identified non-compliances pose a risk of choking or suffocation to a child due to the toy's components or its filling,” the Office assessed.

He added that in the case of one toy model with construction irregularities, administrative proceedings are ongoing, and in seven others it may be initiated. This may result in penalties being imposed.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection advises on how to buy toys

The office advises to buy toys from reliable suppliers. They should be verified whether they have technical documentation – e.g. a test report confirming compliance with the requirements carried out by a reliable laboratory, a correctly prepared declaration of conformity, instructions in Polish, as well as the required warnings (standard PN-EN 71-1+A1:2018 -08 and Regulation of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development). It is also about CE marking.

The manufacturer or importer of a toy that does not comply with the requirements may be subject to a fine of up to PLN 100,000. zloty. For each formal non-compliance (e.g. lack of manufacturer/importer data) there is a penalty of up to PLN 10,000. zloty, and for lack of CE marking – a fine of up to PLN 20,000. PLN – provided by the Office. A dangerous toy is reported by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection to the EU Safety Gate RAPEX system to prevent it from ending up in the hands of European consumers.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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