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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


Toys and games are important for child development. They are also important for the EU economy as the toy industry provides over 50,000 jobs. Most of these jobs are in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EU aims to ensure that the 80 million children in Europe have safe toys to play with.

Facts and figures

  • The EU toy industry employs about 51,000 workers for a production value of about €5.8 billion.
  • 99% of EU toy manufacturing companies are SMEs. They account for 61% of EU toy industry employment.
  • China is the world's largest exporter of toys with more than 86% of world exports. The EU is second with 4.6%.
  • The EU exports toys worth about €50 million to China (up from €25 million five years earlier) and about €280 million to the USA.
  • The toy trade between EU countries is worth about €4.2 billion.

See more facts and figures on the competitiveness of the toy industry in this study (1 MB) from 2013.

What the EU does

The EU lays down toy safety rules and provides guidance to help manufacturers, distributors and importers apply these rules. The main objectives are:

  • to ensure that all toys placed on the EU market are safe
  • to ensure that toys which comply with the EU’s toy safety rules can be marketed freely within the EU.

Toy safety

Compared to the 1988 Toy Safety Directive, the 2009 Toy Safety Directive strengthens provisions on safety requirements to ensure children continue to benefit from a level of protection that is among the highest in the world. More on toy safety.

Placing toys on the EU market

Manufacturers, importers and distributors have to follow certain rules to be able to place toys on the EU market. More on placing toys on the EU market.

Harmonised European standards

Harmonised standards play an important role in ensuring toys marketed in the EU comply with the safety rules. More on harmonised standards on toys.

International aspects

The EU engages in several international dialogues on toys. More on international aspects.

More information