Illegal toys account for the lion’s share of the European warning system EU Safety Gate. The DVSI (Deutscher Verband der Spielwarenindustrie e.V.) demands better controls.

The Safety Gate is the European reporting system for consumers. Consumers can find out quickly and comprehensively which dangerous non-food products have been discovered by the inspectors. What is frightening is that toys represent the largest group of dangerous goods. There were over 2200 product notifications in 2018, of which a sad 31 percent concerned toys. Vehicles followed far behind with 19 percent and clothing with 10 percent. The main risks were illicit chemical components, the risk of injury and the danger of suffocation. For example, toxic ingredients were discovered in play slime. Some dolls had small parts that could be swallowed, other toys made too much noise. The DVSI, the German Association of the Toy Industry, commented on this report. The association expressed concern that around two out of five listed toy products did not allow any conclusions to be drawn about their manufacturers. This is a fundamental EU obligation so that authorities can easily contact manufacturers in the event of questions or recalls. For the DVSI it is clear that “many of them are not traceable fictitious companies”.

DVSI demands better equipment of the authorities

In its opinion, the DVSI stresses that the number of dangerous products is low in relation to the total number of toys sold. The vast majority of all toys come from companies for whom the safety of small customers is important. These manufacturers also ensure that products are easily identifiable and that appropriate procedures are in place to remedy any problems. Ulrich Brobeil, Managing Director of DVSI: “All DVSI members are respected companies that give priority to the safety of their toys so that children can play safely. The authorities must keep the products of dubious dealers off the market. The focus is therefore on catching those criminal suppliers who, out of greed for profit, disregard the rules and thereby put the safety of children at risk. They must be confronted with harsher penalties.” According to DVSI, the responsible authorities should be better equipped. As measures, the association proposes the special observation of suspicious traders and ensuring that repeat offenders are deterred.

Online trading is a particular challenge for DVSI

According to DVSI, a special challenge in the fight against dangerous toys is the growing online trade. The association calls for greater responsibility on the part of sales platforms. For the EU’s Safety Gate reporting system, it wants a mandatory field to determine where a particular toy was bought and how it found its way onto the market. The association praises the work of the EU and its authorities. On the one hand, they protect consumers from harm. On the other hand, they also protected fair companies from unfair competition from traders who disregarded rules out of greed for profit.


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Link: The DVSI comments on the latest EU Safety Gate Report.

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