Insights Toy safety: European Parliament adopts position on proposed Regulation


On 28 July 2023, the European Commission proposed a new Regulation on the safety of toys building on and repealing the existing Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC).  The proposed Regulation would increase protection from harmful chemicals and strengthen enforcement by requiring all toys to have a Digital Product Passport which would include information on compliance with the proposed Regulation. Importers would be required to submit Digital Product Passports for all toys at EU borders, including for those sold online.

The current law does not apply to:

  • electronic equipment, such as personal computers and game consoles, used to access interactive software and their associated peripherals, unless the electronic equipment or the associated peripherals are specifically designed for and targeted at children and have a play value on their own, such as specially designed personal computers, keyboards, joy sticks or steering wheels;
  • interactive software, intended for leisure and entertainment, such as computer games, and their storage media, such as CDs.

As previously reported by Wiggin, in December 2023, amendments were tabled by the European Parliament Committee leading on this proposal, IMCO, proposing to add the following to the second bullet above “… unless the interactive software is either specifically designed for and targeted at children or can be reasonably expected to be played by children, such as computers and smart phones games”.  This would have narrowed the exclusion and brought some games within the general safety requirement under the proposed Regulation, namely, that they must not present a risk to the safety or health of users or third parties, including the psychological and mental health, well-being and cognitive development of children, when they are used as intended or in a foreseeable way, bearing in mind the behaviour of children.

At its vote on the proposed Regulation on 13 February 2024, however, IMCO decided to remove the proposed amendment.  Parliament has since voted to adopt the IMCO position in plenary on 13 March 2024 and this will form the basis of its negotiations with the Council of the EU when they enter into trilogue negotiations. Therefore, the original wording of the exclusions remains as in the existing Directive, save that Parliament voted to add “peripherals and components” to the exclusion for electronic equipment set out at the first bullet above.

The position of the Council is awaited.

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