The international dimension plays an important role in the toy industry and for toy safety. In particular, the European Commission strives to address safety issues with toys coming from China and to ensure smooth cooperation with the US.
EU – China relations
Regular meetings of EU and Chinese toy safety experts have taken place since 2002. The meetings include toy industry stakeholders and are organised within the framework of the EU-China Toys Working Group under the EU-China Regulatory Cooperation. This Regulatory Cooperation involves DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ).
Guidelines (248 kB) on cooperation for strengthening EU-China toy safety were signed in 2006. The Guidelines aim to ensure a high level of safety for toys manufactured in and exported from China. The documents foresee actions such as:
- exchange of information on toy safety rules and standards;
- exchange of information on safeguard notifications under the Toy Safety Directive as well as RAPEX (Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products) notifications;
- organisation of toy safety seminars and training of AQSIQ staff to improve enforcement activities.
The Guidelines also put in place a framework for the continuous exchange of information on unsafe toys. The document contains a commitment from AQSIQ to tighten the inspection and monitoring of toys exported to the EU.
EU - United States relations
The Commission maintains regular contact with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on toy safety matters. The US and the EU jointly educate manufacturers and traders in China and Hong Kong on applicable toy safety requirements. Such joint outreach events were organised in September 2008, November 2011, August-September 2014 and September 2015.