Magnets in Toys: a Commission Decision


On 28 February, a draft Commission Decision was endorsed by EU Member States represented in the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) Committee, requiring that magnetic toys placed or made available on the market, display a warning about the health and safety risks they pose.

The definition of 'magnetic toys' includes both toys that contain magnets or magnetic components, which can be released during normal use, and toys consisting of magnets, both of such size and shape that can easily be swallowed.The text will next be submitted to the European Parliament before the measure is passed on to the College of Commissioners for adoption.

Magnets are increasingly used in toys and so this is an area of concern, as major recalls took place in August 2007, to which the Commission responded immediately with a thorough review of the product safety system in Europe and beyond, and the completion of the proposal for the revision of the Toy Safety Directive (88/378/EEC). These revealed the need for an EU-level measure, requesting specific warnings for magnetic toys, to bridge the gap until the revision process of the toy standard is finalized.

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