New Testing Requirements Close Gaps

The latest edition of the EN 71-1 series of standards for mechanical testing of toys comes into effect on February 28, 2019. It closes regulatory gaps, for example for flying toys, projectile toys, and carnival costumes. This gives manufacturers greater clarity and therefore more legal certainty, say DEKRA’s toy experts.

DEKRA Press Release Mechanical Testing
  • Mechanical testing requirement adapted to current trends
  • Regulation for carnival costumes, flying toys, and projectile toys
  • EN 71-1 series of standards comes into effect on February 28, 2019

In Europe, mechanical testing under the EN 71 series of standards is one option for proving conformity with the legal basis, the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC. The most important part is the standard EN 71-1, which stipulates fundamental requirements that all toys must fulfill. The mechanical testing requirements for toys are constantly being adapted to current trends here.

The latest edition of EN 71-1 was published in summer 2018, and will trigger the presumption of conformity on February 28, 2019. If a manufacturer applies this standard and their toy complies with the relevant requirements, they can assume that it conforms to the Toy Safety Directive.

The 2018 edition provides some new requirements for previously unregulated or even exempt products. For example, RC helicopters without a ring around the rotors did not have to be tested with EN 71-1. EC type examination had to be performed in order to verify conformity. Testing criteria are now in place that can be applied in order to determine whether a toy meets the fundamental safety requirements.

In addition to these flying toys, projectile toys are also assessed from a new perspective. For instance, a manufacturer must consider whether their projectile toy, such as a crossbow, could possibly also be used to shoot other projectiles not included with the toy. These must not pose a threat to people when fired off. Another product group that has recently been given its own category is role-playing toys, especially carnival and Halloween costumes. Until now, the examination of strings, ribbons, cords and other attachments has not been regulated specifically for these products.

A standard has been filling this gap for children’s clothing for several years, but as DEKRA’s toy experts point out, it is not mandatory. Now, the requirements of the clothing standard EN 14682 also apply to toys. A corresponding reference and the requisite definitions have been included in EN 71-1.

In addition, several general changes have been made, some of which define requirements more precisely, correct mistakes or add observations. For instance, requirements for costumes as well as for play carpets and toys that hang over cribs and cradles have been added to the section on strings and similar components.

The DEKRA laboratory for product testing and product certification will be presenting its safety solutions at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair from January 30 to February 3, 2019.
Hall 11.1/D-01, E-02