Wednesday, 5 September 2012

CE Marking and toy safety – not always together

As a mother of two energetic babies I try to check the safety of toys they receive. And being a lawyer not always help in this department. That is why I desperately seek help in this matter – preferably not only from other moms but also from regulatory bodies.

What recently caught my eye is the Commission campaign on toy safety. However, the BEUC report on this matter is even more interesting. Although BEUC welcomes efforts taken by the Commission to raise awareness among manufacturers, importers and retailers of their legal obligations, there is always a "but"... 

BEUC is also concerned that a campaign addressed to consumers promotes CE Marking as a safety mark. However, CE Marking is no more than a message from economic operators to market surveillance authorities and it must not be interpreted or implied as a mark for consumers, particularly as it can even mislead them in what it conveys. Given the lack of an obligation on manufacturers to ensure an independent check on the conformity of the toy to the essential requirements of the Toy Safety Directive, CE Marking cannot be a guarantee, or even indication, that a toy is safe.

This “wrong” message is even send by the promotional song of the campaign (“I put my CE tags on toys, But only if I truly know, That a toy is good, good to go”). A review of the RAPEX database reveals that there have been almost 250 notifications of unsafe toys so far in 2012, most bearing CE Marking. In the end, the problem of falsely-affixed CE Marking continues to exist.

1 comment:

  1. The CE mark is NOT a guarantee of safety of a product, not a quality mark. It is a european EMC directive aimed at low voltage appliances to make sure they do not cause interference to other low voltage appliances, It is legal to self certify a product "CE" and it is upto the manufacturer/supplier to prove it is, but only to regulating bodies and not to the general consumer.

    You can also find CE marks on totally benign objects which under the H@S directives for some products should not be CE marked. - in the automotive industry any decent quality or safety related item will not be CE marked, they all go one step further and have to use external test houses to make sure "parts" are "safe" and operate within legal limits. this is probably why we still dont see many Chinese made cars in europe!