Handmade Toys – CE Marking
UPDATED POST – 1st February 2013
The law regarding children’s toys and CE marking changed back in July 2011 and the new Toy Safety Directive 2011 came into force. This meant that all products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under the age of 14 are required by law to have a CE logo and all soft toys must be made suitable from birth.
This includes handmade products that also look like toys even if you have specified they are are for decorative purposes and not suitable for those under the age of 14 years. The only exception to this is Christmas/novelty decorations although they do have to comply with general product safety standards. As this is a legal requirement now for any toy which is manufactured and sold in the UK and EU you can be fined £5000 or even receive a prison sentence if you are making and selling toys without the CE mark.
I have put together a variety of information and links together regarding this subject for any fellow artisans who make soft toys such as knitted / crocheted / felt or other fabric style toys (including sock toys) on how to obtain a CE logo for there products.
To start you need to get to grips with the Toy Safety Directive and how handmade toys are now required by law to comply as with any other manufactured toy. In regards to soft toys the standards they all need to comply with are BS EN71 (parts 1-3), you have to ensure all materials and the finished product pass BS EN71 parts 1-3 – part 1 torque and tension, part 2 is flammability, and part 3 is migration of chemicals. If you contact your local library they should be able to give you advice to where you will be able to read a copy of the directive.
The most obtainable way for handmade toys to gain CE marking is to self certify your products. I would highly recommend a company called Conformance who sell a self certification pack called ‘CE marking for handmade soft toys’ which is specifically designed to help home toy-makers to meet the legal requirements of the Toy Safety Directive. This pack has a step by step guide to CE marking for those making handmade toys which includes testing details, what certificates of compliance you will need to collate for your materials and templates for your all your paperwork which is required by law for each type of toy you manufacture. Once you have purchased this pack Conformance are also on hand for advice and guidance via phone or email correspondence.
To help meet like minded people and to gain support during this process I would recommend you joining the CE Support Page over on Facebook, although they will not be able to give legal advice they can point you in the right direction and there are various groups which you can join to help with the collation of certificates.
If you are not making handmade toys however your products are aimed at Children then it is best to seek advice regarding this from your local trading standards. They will be able to advise you on whether your product requires CE marking or if needs to comply with other general safety standards specifically to your product.
Here is one of my latest handmade sock toys undergoing a few of the tests involved in obtaining their CE marking.
Soxlet Orbble Test Sample
Sample undergoing torque test on one seem with a 180 degree twist.
Test sample seam being testing with over 7.2kg of weights.
Close Up of test clamps on toy and arm seam being tested.
Test sample undergoing the probe test.
Test Sample of sock after flammability test.
In regards to sock toys specifically, they unfortunately do not already conform to the BS EN71 toy safety standards as they are an item of clothing and are not manufactured for the use as a toy material. This means that if you make and sell toys using socks then you have to ensure that every pair of socks you purchase conform to the new toy safety directive. You will be able to test parts 1-2 at home yourself in accordance with the directive as mentioned above however you will require a 3rd party to test for part 3 which is the chemical migration.
If you make sock creations in particular then I would recommend you pop on over and join our Support Network – CE Marked Sock Toys. We have now had tested a variety of high street sock and wholesale brands tested for chemical migration and have a variety of certificates available to purchase. We also have a number of free certificates for threads, stuffing, felt, fabric and so forth which we are more than willing to share.
Once you have obtained all this information and your product complies with the BS EN71 (parts 1-3) you will be able to add the CE logo to your product. Which can either a sewn in label on your handmade product or a tag style label around your product which ever if more suitable.
Here is an example of my hanging swing tag labels for my Soxlet Orbbles.
This will cover any products you offer for sale in the UK and Europe ONLY! If you want to sell your products worldwide then you must check out the laws on toys for those countries too!
Each type of toy you test will require a full Technical File and Declaration of Conformity to show that your toys reaches the appropriate standards with the BS EN71 (parts 1-3) and is safe for the appropriate age of child for your target market. Once you get the hang of it all it isn’t too complicated it does however just take time and needs to be kept up to date and then kept for 10 years of making each toy.
Please note: Full details regarding how CE marking effects handmade toys can be found in the Toy Safety Directive EN71 which can usually be obtained from your local library. I am no expert on the subject of CE marking and can not offer any legal advice. I only have personal experience from going through the process myself since early 2011. This blog post is intended to help other artisans find out further information regarding CE marking. If in any doubt about your creations please seek advice from your local Trading Standards to find out exactly how the new toy directive effects your handmade creations.
Further details on product safety can be found over on the Craftseller website from Clare Harley from Conformance HERE.
‘Odds & Soxlets’ takes no legal responsibility for the content of this blog post. For further information about ‘Odds & Soxlets’ toy safety please click HERE.