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EU: Commission revises the guidance document for aquatic toys

DECEMBER 2023 - TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 12 December 2023, the European Commission has updated the Guidance Document No. 71 to help in identifying and categorising toys and other products used in or on the water. The revised version of the guidance document includes new product examples and pictures that represent the current aquatic toys and leisure articles available on the market. The revision also defines “aquatic ride-on toys” and distinguishes “aquatic toys” from “floating leisure articles”.

The Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (TSD) defines a toy as "a product designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children under 14 years of age". Within this definition, an aquatic toy is specifically defined as "a toy intended for use in shallow water and is capable of carrying or supporting a child on the water."

Examples of products that are covered by the TSD:

  • Bath toys,
  • Inflatable toys (including ride-on),
  • Small, battery-powered toy vessels (remote-controlled or not),
  • Bathing rings, and
  • Fish rings (newly added).

Examples of products that are not covered by the TSD:

  • Articles for lifesaving,
  • Floating leisure articles, 
  • Floating seats, 
  • Swimming aids and learning devices (including diving rings and other diving products), and
  • Water walking balls (newly added).

The revised guidance also highlights snorkeling masks as an example of a non-toy, despite being marketed to children as young as 3 years old. Snorkeling masks are classified as personal protective equipment and should not be used for play, as they can pose safety risks.

 

[1] The Guidance Document on toys used in or on the water


 

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