Conservatives call for better information on toy safety and sourcing

Brussels, 25th September 2007 — The toy industry should set up a European safety marking, certified by independent testing. Toys should also be comprehensively labelled, including the source of production.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, set out these proposals in Strasbourg today.

“Toy makers produce a huge variety of items, and source from all over the world. They must operate to high standards of quality and safety. Consumers want more information to help them choose the best products. Reputable makers should support certification and labelling schemes that will help them choose safe products. But we should avoid prescriptive, centralised EU regulation.”

Sir Robert also called for more co-operation between customs authorities to identify unsafe products from rogue producers. “Once a container load of toys has entered the Single Market, those products can get straight into the distribution system,” he says. “We have to step up controls at the main ports of entry for goods from Asia. I recently visited Felixstowe, where I was able to see the scale of the problem. The UK government needs to work with toy makers to step up checks and catch unsafe items before they can do any damage.

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