Latest Regulations and Safety Standards for STEM Toys in Different Countries

Safety is a paramount concern when it comes to children’s toys, and the STEM toy industry is no exception. In this blog post, we will explore the latest regulations and safety standards for STEM toys in different countries, helping parents, educators, and toy importers ensure that the products they select are safe and compliant with local requirements.

United States: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

In the United States, the CPSC is responsible for establishing and enforcing safety standards for consumer products, including toys. The CPSC has established regulations for toy safety, such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which sets strict limits on the use of hazardous substances like lead and phthalates in children’s toys. In addition, the ASTM International has developed a voluntary standard for toy safety (ASTM F963), which covers a wide range of potential hazards, including choking, sharp edges, and battery safety.

  • Regulations: The CPSC enforces the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which includes strict limits on hazardous substances like lead and phthalates in children’s toys. ASTM F963 is a voluntary standard for toy safety.
  • Key Changes and Areas: ASTM F963-17 includes updates on projectile toys, sound-producing toys, labeling requirements, battery-operated toys, and magnetic toys.
  • Website: For detailed information, visit the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov​​​​​​​​.

European Union: The European Toy Safety Directive (EN 71)

The European Toy Safety Directive (EN 71) sets out the safety requirements for toys sold within the EU. This comprehensive set of standards covers various aspects of toy safety, including mechanical and physical properties, flammability, and chemical composition. To demonstrate compliance with EN 71, toys must undergo testing by an accredited laboratory and display the CE (Conformité Européenne) marking on their packaging.

  • Standards: EN 71 sets out safety requirements covering mechanical, physical properties, flammability, and chemical composition.
  • Certification: Toys must undergo testing by an accredited laboratory and display the CE marking.
  • Website: For more details, visit the European Commission’s website on Toy Safety at European Commission – Toy Safety

Canada: The Canadian Toy Association (CTA) and Health Canada

In Canada, toy safety is regulated by Health Canada and guided by the Canadian Toy Association (CTA). The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) sets out the general safety requirements for consumer products, including toys. Health Canada also enforces the Toys Regulations under the CCPSA, which outline specific safety standards for toys, such as limits on hazardous substances and requirements for labeling and packaging.

  • Regulations: Governed by the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and specific Toys Regulations under the CCPSA.
  • Safety Standards: Include limits on hazardous substances and specific labeling and packaging requirements.
  • Website: The full text of the Toys Regulations can be found at Justice Laws Website – Toys Regulations​.The guide can be accessed on Health Canada’s website at Health Canada – Toy Safety Requirements​.

Australia and New Zealand: The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE)

In Australia, the ACCC enforces the Consumer Protection Notice No. 14 of 2003, which sets out mandatory safety standards for toys intended for children up to and including 36 months of age. In New Zealand, the MBIE enforces the New Zealand Toy Safety Standard (AS/NZS ISO 8124), which covers a range of safety aspects, including mechanical and physical properties, flammability, and chemical composition.

  • Australia: The ACCC enforces mandatory safety standards for toys for children up to 36 months of age.
  • New Zealand: The MBIE enforces the New Zealand Toy Safety Standard (AS/NZS ISO 8124).
  • Website: For detailed information, visit Product Safety Australia – Toys​​.
  • Specific Standards for Toys
  • Toys for Children up to 36 Months of Age: This mandatory standard prescribes requirements for the design and construction of toys for children up to and including 36 months of age, aiming to reduce the risks of small parts releasing or coming off toys during play.
  • Website: More details can be found at Product Safety Australia – Toys for Children up to 36 Months​.
  • New Safety Standard for Projectile Toys
  • Standard Details: An updated mandatory safety standard for projectile toys has been issued to protect children from serious eye injuries or choking. Suppliers can comply with either the latest Australian voluntary standard or listed overseas standards.
  • Website: Further information is available at ACCC – New Safety Standard for Projectile Toys​.

China: The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR)

China’s toy safety standards are regulated by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and are outlined in the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) system. The CCC system requires that toys meet the GB 6675 National Toy Safety Standard, which covers various aspects of toy safety, including mechanical and physical properties, flammability, and chemical composition.

  • Details:
    1. GB 6675.1-2014 (Basic Code): Specifies toy classifications, safety requirements, certification responsibilities, and supervision authority. It includes requirements for China’s Compulsory Certification (CCC) and warning label requirements.
    2. GB 6675.2-2014 (Mechanical and Physical Properties): Details criteria for structural characteristics of toys, such as size, shape, and spacing, along with specific criteria for various toy types.
    3. GB 6675.3-2014 (Flammability): Establishes flammability resistance requirements and prohibited materials in toy products.
    4. GB 6675.4-2014 (Migration of Certain Elements): Specifies maximum acceptable levels for the migration of elements like antimony, arsenic, barium, etc., from toy materials.
  • Phthalates Restrictions: Restrictions on six phthalates in plastic toys or toy components.
  • China Compulsory Certification (CCC) for Toys
  • Details: All products falling under the CCC scope must undergo CCC testing and factory inspection. This includes toys such as ride-on toys, electrical toys, plastic toys, and metal toys.
  • Testing Standards: Includes China National Toy Safety Standard (GB 6675) and Electric Toy Safety (GB 19865).
  • Amendments to GB 6675 and GB 19865 (2022)
  • Amendments (2022): Amendments to GB 6675.2, GB 6675.11, and GB 19865 were announced, with implementation dates ranging from immediate effect to a transitional period ending February 1, 2023. These amendments include specifications for projectile toys and electric toy safety.
  • Website for Reference: Additional information on these amendments can be found at SGS – China Amends Toy Safety Standards​.

In conclusion, understanding the latest regulations and safety standards for STEM toys in different countries is crucial for ensuring that the toys we provide to children are safe and compliant with local requirements. By staying informed about these standards, parents, educators, and toy importers can make more informed decisions when selecting STEM toys for the children they serve.

Panda Crafty
Panda Crafty

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