In the guide
The labelling and safety requirements for new toys, and how the law applies to toys sold second-hand
This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales
There are a number of labelling requirements for toys, including the name and address of the manufacturer / importer, the type, batch, model or serial number, the CE mark, and warnings and instructions.
The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 set out the legal requirements for the safety of new toys supplied by a business. Toys are defined as: "products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old".
Toys that are second-hand do not need to be labelled with the CE mark or the address of the manufacturer or distributor, but they must still be safe. The special warnings and instructions are required for both second-hand and new toys.
All new toys that you supply in the course of a business must be marked with:
The CE mark is a declaration by the manufacturer that the toy is safe.
These marks must be on the toy or its packaging and be permanent and easy to read.
On small toys these marks may be on:
Warnings & instructions
Some toys must come with warnings and instructions about precautions that need to be taken to ensure safe use. Special warnings are required as follows (and where specific instructions are required, you should seek further advice or refer directly to the Regulations):
Toys that are second-hand are covered by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 - rather than the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 - and as such do not need to be labelled with the CE mark or the address of the manufacturer or distributor, although they must still be safe. The special warnings and instructions (see above) are required for both second-hand and new toys.
You are advised to only sell second-hand toys that are CE marked, contain any relevant instructions or warnings and have been checked for any obvious faults.
When you have reason to believe a toy is unsafe and presents a risk - for example, you receive a complaint that a toy has injured a child - you must:
Your local trading standards service may request cooperation in relation to any action undertaken.
You must ensure that whilst a toy is under your responsibility the conditions under which it is stored or transported will not jeopardise the toy's safety.
Finally, for a period of 10 years, you must be able to identify the business that supplied you with the toy (in other words, you need to keep invoices etc).
If you sell toys that are incorrectly marked or unsafe, or if you do not meet your responsibilities, you will be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
Additionally, if new products on sale are found to be in breach of the legislation, the manufacturer or importer could be required to recall all of the affected products.
Last reviewed / updated: May 2018
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.
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