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.