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First quarterly Newsletter: Toys

Legal Acts in the EU in the area of technical harmonization: adopted or proposed during the last quarter








-  negotiation concluded
-  published in OJ EU L 170 30. 6. 2009
-  Celex No.: 32009L0048

The text is available on the following websites:

Link URL 1
Link URL 2

The description of the agenda:
Following a first reading agreement reached with the European Parliament, the Council adopted a directive aimed at reinforcing the safety of toys in the internal market. The new directive, which replaces the directive 88/378/EEC, updates and completes current Community rules and takes account of technological developments of toys and new scientific knowledge, in particular as concerns safety issues that were unknown when the original Toys Safety Directive was adopted. In accordance with the existing legislation on marketing of products, economic operators placing toys on the EU market will have the responsibility for ensuring that their toys comply with a Community legislation in order to ensure a high level of protection of consumers and of the environment. The new legislation reinforces market surveillance and essential safety requirements for toys, in order to ensure that toys sold to consumers in the EU are safe.
This directive is the first sectoral directive following the principles of the new legislative framework for market surveillance and CE marking agreed last year. The provisions on chemicals are adapted to meet the requirements of the regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures.

Aims and benefits:

  • To lay down rules on the safety of toys and on their free movement in the Community, and to repeal Directive 88/378/EEC.
  • To enhance effectiveness of safety legislation for toys and a simplification of recent legal enactments both economic operators (producers, authorised representatives, distributors, importers), and surveillance authorities.
  • Consumer safety – update essential safety requirements.

Difficulties and disputed points:

  • determination of the relevant conformity assessment procedure,
  • rules for CMR substances (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or toxic for Reproduction) in toys,
  • use of aromatic substances in toys,
  • migration limits of nitrosamines and nitrosable substances,
  • an efficient traceability system facilitating market surveillance authorities' tasks of tracing economic operators who made non-compliant toys available on the market,
  • precautionary principle,
  • endocrinous disruptors,
  • technical documentation – keep at the disposal length
  • transitional period length

Time sequence:

25. 1. 2008

Adoption by Commission

25. 1. 2008

Transmission to Council and to EP

18. 3. 2008

First Working Party (WP) during the SI PRES;

18. 3., 28. 3., 14. 4., 15. 5., 5. 6., 24. 6. 2008

WP during the SI PRES

3. – 4. 7., 15. 7., 4. – 5. 9., 22. 9., 3. 10., 10. 10., 22. 10., 10. 11. (Attachés), 13. 11., 28. 11. + Attachés 2008

WP during the FR PRES

5. and 10. 12. 2008

EP opinion 1st reading

18. 12. 2008

Committee Permanent Representatives

2. 4. 2009

Approval – Education, Youth and Culture Council

11. 5. 2009

WP Jurists/Linguists

18. 6. 2009

Signature by EP and Council

30. 6. 2009

Published in OJ EU L170, pages 1 – 37

Entry into force:
This Directive shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
In order to allow toy manufacturers and other economic operators sufficient time to adapt to the requirements laid down by this Directive, it is necessary to provide for a transitional period of two years after the entry into force of this Directive during which toys which comply with Directive 88/378/EEC may be placed on the market. In the case of chemical requirements, this period should be set at four years so as to allow the development of the harmonised standards which are necessary for compliance with those requirements.

Related documents:
European Parliament – The Legislative Observatory:

European Parliament – Texts adopted

PreLex – Monitoring of the decision-making process between institutions