Handmade Toys – CE Marking

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Handmade Toys – CE Marking

Updated Post 1st May 2016

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 (mass produced and handmade) which either looked like a toy or were a toy and for use in play by children under the age of 14 are required by law to have been tested in accordance with the toy safety directive and display a CE logo on their label or packaging.

This was a big change for those making handmade toys as there were previously no laws or guidelines to follow and now small time makers would now have to test their toys to the same spec. as large scale manufactures and mass produced toys. Handmade soft toys in particular would now have to be suitable from birth and although there are some exemptions on the whole if a creation looks like a toy and is considered to have play value by a child then it is considered to be a toy. 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.

Below 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 with it is ideal to read up on the BS EN71 toy safety regulations and all the information which your product complies with. You can usually obtain a copy of the directive through your local library services or local trading standards. In regards to soft toys part 1-3 of the the BS EN71 are applicable to you. Another good resource is the gov.uk website for Toy Manufacturers and their Responsibilities this will give you a basic outline of the directive and what is involved. Here is a very good basic guide from Hampshire Trading Standards in relation to Home Toy Producers and their responsibilities.

As I mentioned previously the toy safety directive was updated in June of 2011, to find out how this now effects the manufacturer of toys (including those which are handmade) you can visit the Conformance website HEREConformance are an experienced company dealing with CE marking across a whole range of products. Although you can send your toys away to a testing lab to be tested, the most obtainable way for handmade toys to gain CE marking is to self certify your products. Conformance have developed a variety of  self certification packs for those who make handmade toys.  They do a pack called ‘CE marking for handmade soft toys’ which is specifically designed to help home soft 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.

CE-Marking-For-Handmade-Toys-Odds-and-SoxletsIMAGE ABOVE: Some of my photographic evidence of my new monster collection ‘Monstroubles’ undergoing some of their toy safety testing to self certify for the CE Mark.

 Once you have completed the self certification process 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. 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 abide by the laws on toys for those countries too!

Each type of toy you make will require testing to part 1-3 of the BS EN71 Toy Safety Directive, which include part 1 – torque and tension tests, part 2- flammability and part 3- chemical migration. Parts 1 and 2 are easy to complete at home however you will need to acquire further information about the components of your toys regarding part 3 which is the chemical migration for all external components which would be accessible to a child. Internal components such as toy noise inserts (rattles, squeakers, jingle columns and so forth) do not need testing for part 3 of the regs themselves as they should not be accessible to a child and will just need to be tested inside of the whole toy for parts 1 and 2. You can sometimes acquire details about part 3 from your supplier or the manufacturer of your components such as fabrics, thread, stuffing and so forth. However if these details can not be obtained then your components will require 3rd party testing by a testing house. Once your toy/s have been tested you will require to document all of the details about your toys and the tests which have been carried out to form a full Technical File and Declaration of Conformity to show that your toys reaches the appropriate standards within the regulations and is safe for the appropriate age of child required by law. 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.

If you would like further information on CE marking then please visit our new facebook page CE Marking Support Network we are a non-profit association for help and guidance to self certify in accordance with the toy safety directive 2011/13. 

For established toy makers who are looking to CE mark their creations we have a soft toy support group which run in conjunction with this page to help spread the cost of sending fabrics to laboratories (notified bodies) to be tested against EN71-3 – Migration of certain chemicals.  These test results are then used as part of our technical files to show due diligence. Please join our facebook page where you can then find out further information about these groups.

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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.

DISCLAIMER: Please note while I can inform you of my personal experiences with CE marking, it is not, and should NEVER be, taken as a replacement for information from Toy Safety Experts. Please research the EN71 directive yourself and it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to do so.  ‘Odds & Soxlets’ take no legal responsibility for the content of this blog post or further advice given. The information provided is based on my personal experience self certifying my own handmade toys for their CE mark.


20 thoughts on “Handmade Toys – CE Marking

  1. Hi
    I am just setting out to sell rag dolls and found a recommendation for Mountain Mist Fiber Fiberloft Polyester Stuffing it was very expensive and good quality result but I cannot find safety compliance information on the packaging or from amazon where I bought it.
    Can you advise and or recommend a toy safe stuffing that is fire retardant and give great results and washable.

    • Hi Marion, I personally use world of wools carded stuffing. Although EN71 part 3 is not a compulsory element for internal components this stuffing has been tested under the toy safety regulations for this element. If you google them it will come up with their website. Best Regards Erica

  2. Hi. Found this very helpful. I want to start making “role play” toys out of felt like pizzas, vegetables, sandwiches. So I would need certification for the felt, stuffing and the thread would that be right? So the tests you did on your soft toy, is there a list that you can follow to do these tests at home? Thanks

    • Hi Siobhan, You would need EN71 part 3 certificates for the external components such as the felt. I would recommend the Wool Felt Company as they have felt that has already been tested to this section of the standard. The stuffing doesn’t require an EN71 part 3 certificate as it is an internal component and not accessible by a child. Any stuffing you use must be new, and have the appropriate hygiene and flammability certificates or documentation on the packaging. The full felt toys would then need to be tested to EN71 parts 1 and 2, this can be done yourself at home as the manufacturer of your own toys. I would recommend purchasing the self certification pack mentioned in my blog post, as this gives you a step by step guide to testing and templates on how to complete your legal paperwork. You can also read up on the full EN71 toy safety regulations either through your local library, or by joining an online library such as Newcastle Library. We also have a support group for toy makers over on facebook (link in my blog post) which you can apply to join for support and further information.

    • If you are making just the odd toy to give to friends and family then these do not require CE Marking.

  3. Hi, I too am making rag dolls at home. My soft toy stuffing is CE marked. However every doll is made from different fabrics each so do I need to send every single fabric that I ever use to be tested. Some of my dolls hair is wool do I need to get all wools used tested too ?

    • Hi Rachel, in terms of fabrics they all need to be tested to EN71 part 3 or you if you have a collection of certificates for similar fabrics then you you may be able to apply due diligence in some instances. Then the full toys need to be tested to parts 1 and 2 of the regs. If you are using fabrics of differant compositions then a new full toy would require testing however if all the fabrics for example are of a high cotton blend, then you can just have one main test subject. We have further details of how due diligence can be applied to toy making and testing in our support group in this blog post.

  4. Hello,

    I found your post very helpful, thanks.
    I am starting a business of selling crocheted dolls. Would you please know a yarn company that complies with these regulations?
    Thanks again,

    Marie

    • Hi Marie, Please join our support group which I mention in the blog post as we have had various yarns tested for EN71 part 3 plus some free certificates available too.

  5. Hi, just a quick query which has been niggling me. I have been seeing hospitals asking for folk to knit or crochet soft filled octopus for the sick and prem babies. Can I ask if these as they are being fonated require to be CE tested? I have seen someone I know start to crochet some as don’t want her to possibly end up in trouble. Thank you

    • Hi Gail, this is a grey area. If you are just donating the odd toy to charity then they don’t usually require testing however when makers are making lots of toys for charity then they do require testing. In terms of child safety it would always be advisable for the maker to toy safety test and CE mark there toys so that they cover themselves legally if any problems did arise. Trading standards is always good to refer people too to check whether the toys they are making requires such testing before they are donated.

  6. Hi im looking to make some toys to help raise awareness about dementia. Ive been donated some brand new pillows.They have fire and safety marks. Do you think I would be able to use them for my stuffing ?

    • Hi Joy, internal components do not require an EN71 part 3 certificate so as long as the pillows are new and clean then these would be fine for your toy stuffing.

  7. Hi, can anyone answer this question for me . l want to start making hand made fabric quilts and lap quilts and l would like to know if you have to have them CE tested as there are not toys but could be given to a child to sit on ?

    • Hi Marie,
      These items do not fall under the toy safety regulations and do not require CE marking. It would be worth checking to see if they fall under the home furnishing regulations instead. If you look on the government website you should be able to find further details. Best Regards Erica

  8. hi there
    im looking into making dummy clips and taggy blankets and wondered what ce testing they would require

    thanks

  9. Hi, I have been sawing as a child and now doing so with my girls 6 and 8 years old.
    They love to clothes, soft toys and dolls we make, and usually take some to school for show and tell. Their friends are keen to join us in toy and doll making.
    Do you think I should test the toys as they will take them home when completed?
    I am completely new to CE marking thus hugely overwhelm by what it requires.

    Many thanks

    • CE marking applies to toys being made and sold rather than being made for personal use. Children who make toys for fun would not require CE marking.

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