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Stockton Trading Standards & Licensing Service
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Understand the labelling and safety requirements for new toys, and how the law applies to toys sold second-hand
This guidance is for England, Scotland and 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.
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.
Trading standards services enforce the legislation and can provide guidance on the safety of other products, such as prams, pushchairs, clothing, beds, bicycles and car seats.
In the guide
The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 set out the legal requirements for the safety of new toys supplied by a business.
A toy is defined as: 'any product or material designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age'.
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:
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 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 do not meet your responsibilities, you will be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. You could be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months.
Trading standards services also enforce, and can provide guidance on, the safety of other products, such as prams, pushchairs, clothing, beds, bicycles and car seats. See also 'New & second-hand prams & pushchairs' and 'New nightwear'.
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.
Last reviewed/updated: December 2013