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Your regular update for technical and industry information

EU: Standard EN 71-4:2020 for toy experimental set published


On 23 December 2020, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) published the new version of the safety standard for experimental sets for chemistry and related activities – EN 71-4:20201. All members of the CEN have to adopt and publish their national standard by 30 June 2021. The current version, EN 71-4:2013 continues to provide presumption of conformity to the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC until the new version has been harmonised. 

The existing version of EN 71-4 was published around 7 years ago, to update the specified requirements, a revision of the standard is required. Highlights of the modifications made in the new standard are summarised as below.

  • It has been clarified that “combined sets”, e.g. a combination of a chemistry set and a crystal growing set, are not within the scope of the standard, the rationale has been added in the standard as well (this decision has been stated in CEN/TR 15371-2:20192);
  • The online terminological databases maintained by International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have been provided for further information of terms and definitions;
  • Food additives and their mixtures according to the Food Additives Regulation [EC] 1333/2008 have been allowed to be supplied in chemistry sets;
  • It has been clarified that in the chemistry sets, non-hazardous foods or other household materials (e.g. starch or flour) can be suggested for experiments as mentioned in the instructions but not supplied, because understanding the composition of these everyday products is considered educational;
  • Tables 1 to 5, which indicate the maximum amounts of chemical substances and mixtures allowed to be supplied in experimental sets and their corresponding labelling required, have been revised with regard to GHS pictograms and signal words to adapt to changes in the CLP classification;
  • The requirements on closures for child-resistant containers that need to be used in chemistry sets have been revised by permitting only those in compliance with EN ISO 8317:20153, other options provided previously have been removed as they are considered not suitable;
  • The test method for the closure of child-resistant containers has been improved;
  • Carbon dioxide generating experimental sets now require eye protection if they contain substances requiring GHS pictogram GHS05, relevant safety rule should also be given;
  • Details of manufacturer or importer has been removed from the requirements on marking of the primary packaging as they are required by the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (TSD), the relevant rationale has been added to indicate that additional requirement on markings, labelling and warnings are given in the TSD, its associated guidance documents and EN 71-1.

EN 71-4 only covers experimental sets for chemistry and related activities including crystal growing sets, carbon dioxide generating sets and supplementary sets. It does not apply to other chemical toys (e.g. oven-hardening plasticised PVC modelling clay sets), which is covered by EN 71-54. Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits and gustative games are also not covered by EN 71-4 as their requirements are given in EN 71-135.


[1]  EN 71-4:2020

[2]  CEN/TR 15371-2:2019

[3]  EN ISO 8317:2015

[4]  EN 71-5:2015

[5]  EN 71-13:2014


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