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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Ensuring the safety of toys in the European Union

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Ensuring the safety of toys in the European Union

All toys manufactured in, or imported into, the European Union are subject to strict safety requirements before they can be made available. These requirements are occasionally updated to take account of technical progress and scientific knowledge.


Directive 2009/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys.



The 2009 directive sets out the safety requirements toys made available in the EU must meet. It identifies the particular responsibilities of different operators in the supply chain from manufacturer to retailer. The requirements are designed to provide a high level of health and safety, protect the public and the environment and guarantee fair competition on the EU toy market.


  • Toys are products designed or intended, whether exclusively or not, for use in play by children under 14.
  • Manufacturers, since they have a detailed knowledge of their product, have the responsibility of ensuring their toys meet all the applicable safety requirements.
  • Importers must only place on the market toys from outside the EU complying with all the applicable safety requirements.
  • Distributors and retailers must act with due care regarding the applicable safety requirements.
  • National authorities perform market surveillance.
  • Toys which satisfy the essential safety requirements are entitled to an ‘EC’ declaration of conformity, must bear the CE mark and may be sold throughout the EU.
  • The legislation does not apply to the following toys: playground equipment for public use, automatic playing machines intended for public use, toy vehicles with combustion engines, toy steam engines, slings and catapults.
  • The directive is updated from time to time, generally to set safe limits for chemicals (like cadmium, barium or bisphenol A) used in toys.



Date of effect

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2009/48/EC

20.7.2011 Except for Part III of Annex II (chemical safety requirements): 20.7.2013


OJ L 170, 30.6.2009, pp.1- 37

Amending act(s)

Date of effect application

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2012/7/EU



OJ L 64, 3.3.2012, pp. 7-8

Regulation (EU) No 681/2013



OJ L 195, 18.7.2013, pp.16-17

Directive 2014/79/EU



OJ L 182, 21.6.2014, pp. 49-51

Directive 2014/81/EU



OJ L 183, 24.6.2014, pp. 49-51

Directive 2014/84/EU



OJ L 192, 1.7.2014, pp. 49-51


Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC (Official Journal L 396, 30.12.2006, pp. 1-849).

Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (Official Journal L 353, 31.12.2008, pp. 1-1355).

last update 02.01.2015