Sourcing Toys in China - Your safety questions answered

Discussion in 'Products & Trends' started by ladyvgw, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    Hi all,

    Just joined and wanted to offer some knowledge (limited though it may be!)

    Recently I have noticed that with the popularity of site like Alibaba and others people have started importing Toys from China and other countries but have no idea about the safety and legal side of things.

    I know a fair bit about it I would be happy to answer any questions you have relating to Toy safety testing EN71 reports etc.

    Vicky
  2. Anthony

    Anthony

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    Re: Toy safety. Your questions answered.

    Vicky, thanks for the opportunity.

    Can you give us a brief overview of what the typical toy manufacturer in China does to ensure that they meet the required standards of the European Union?
  3. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    Re: Toy safety. Your questions answered.

    Sure no problem
  4. Anthony

    Anthony

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    Re: Toy safety. Your questions answered.

    This is where it becomes vital to know as much about the supplier as possible. Anyone considering any form of large scale importation of goods, especially toys, should conduct audits on the factory producing.

    Vicky, do you have any tips for buyers who wish to instruct an agent to conduct an audit verification?
  5. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    Re: Toy safety. Your questions answered.

    Hi Anthony,

    Not really an area I have much experience of as I tend to visit all the factories I buy from personally and make up my own mind. The only company I know well that offers an auditing serving is Bureau Veritas - http://www.bureauveritas.co.uk/wps/...ty+Solutions&gclid=CJqR_MnZvaMCFYb92Aod10mQbg

    but to be honest these services are hugely expensive and in many cases unnecessary (in my opinion) because to make it worth spending that amount you need to be importing substantial quantities and if that is the case then surely its better to hop on a plane and go to the Canton fair in Guangzhou and speak to suppliers face to face.

    This is just my opinion and people may disagree.
  6. deburs

    deburs

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    HI Vicky

    Please could you tell if - if you know - what is the situation with regard to DOG TOYS imported from China to UK/EU. Are they supposed to follow the same safety rules?

    Deborah
  7. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    Hi Deb,

    As far as I know pet toys do not require a ce mark or need any testing. I will double check and come back to you.

    Vicky :)
  8. deburs

    deburs

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    Hi Vicky - thank you so much for your kind effort. In the US, many of the dog toys are marked AZO-free, phalate (sp)- free, lead, cadmium free etc etc..BUT I believe these are banned anyway in the EU - and I should think that goes for dog toys too but wanted to check. I am concerned about dog toys from China within my business "Mod Edit; URL Link Removed" . I am very careful to check the provenence of the dog toys and most of the toys I will be selling at British or US made. The US market are very hot on promoting the above safety but I wonder - as we do not hear so much about this - whether it is a 'given' in the UK.
  9. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    To be honest I dont know a huge amount about pet toys so not familiar with the regulations but I guess the same rules apply, just not sure how enforced they are. To be honest (and for peace of mind) I would just simply make sure that the toys you buy are free of the chemicals you mentioned. I will check with my safety guru tomorrow to see if he can throw any light on it.

    Vicky :)
  10. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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  11. pendipidy

    pendipidy

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    Hi Vicki,

    I have found what i think is a factory, manufacturing toys and trying to get certain kinds of information out of them is like getting blood out of a stone. Obviously the language barrier doesn't help.

    Trading standards, as well as the hours of googling and reading i have done, informs me that, as an importer, i must ensure i have a technical file for any toys in import. Basically, showing the manufacturing process, components and the safety tests done. I have a EN 71 certificate from them (UK toy safety tests), but cannot get a Certificate of Conformity from them or any technical information at all.

    Trading standards and other govt. bodies say, as an importer: "You must also ensure that the manufacturer has:
    • followed the conformity assessment procedure,
    • drawn up the technical documentation,
    • affixed the CE marking,
    • included the information identifying the toy and manufacturer on it, and included instructions for use, safety information and warnings."

    Do you have any advise for me at all? I feel like i am going round in circles the whole time!
    Kind regards,
    Jill



  12. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    Hi Jill,

    My advice would be this - if you cant get the information you need for your BOM's and they are failing to grasp the importance of getting the safety side correct then I would ditch them and move on.

    I know its hard but it really isnt worth the trouble of importing toys if you cant get it right. You could land yourself in some pretty hot water if things go wrong. The fines alone can be many thousands of pounds and you can even end up in court!

    Good luck :)
  13. pendipidy

    pendipidy

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    Thanks for that. The problem is, they keep on saying they have a CE and a EN 71. But don't you have to have a technical file to get a CE? so why do they not have one? Is it called something else in china, do you know?
  14. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    No its not called anything else. The problem is that many factories will tell you whatever they think you want to hear. They may well have en71 but it mean it is genuine, many chinese test repots are fake! The only way you are going to be sure the toy is safe and labelled correctly is to pay to have it tested here in the UK, but be careful as some factories will send you samples for testing that are fine and pass but when the shipment arrives it is made of inferior, cheaper materials and fails.

    If you would like email me with details of the toy I will tell you exactly what testing you will need to do.
  15. pendipidy

    pendipidy

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    Thanks for that. I have found a couple of reports of the toy being unsafe, through small parts being detached, the batteries and wires being able to be accessed and the carrier bag shipped in not having holes and being too think. The thing is, I how can i get the factory to change these things so i can import. You would think they would want the toy to be safe for market in the UK, but i don't think they do. Obviously it would be better for their business if they manufactured safely as well as cheaply. There is no point having a cheap toy if it cannot be imported with confidence as it is unsafe!
  16. ladyvgw

    ladyvgw

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    The UK market is very small in comparision to the rest of the world and most other countries do not have the same stringent safety policies that we have, therefore the factory probably doesnt care that the item is unsafe.

    Everything about this scenario is screaming 'leave it and walk away' to me. As I said in my last post, if you are determined to go through with it let me know what the toy is and I will at least be able to tell you how to get it safe.
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