July 8, 2013
Chemical requirements under the European Union (EU) Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (Annex II, Part III), including requirements on the new migration limits for certain elements, will enter into force on July 20, 2013.
In 2011, Germany requested permission from the European Commission (EC) to retain the existing provisions provided under German law for five of the elements listed in EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC lead, arsenic, mercury, barium and antimony.
With Decision 2012/160/EU the European Commission approved - in accordance with the transitional rules of the new directive on toys - the continued application of the German limit values for lead and barium in toys until July 21, 2013, but rejected the application in relation to antimony, arsenic, and mercury.
Germany has brought an action before the General Court of the European Union for the annulment of that decision. Moreover, Germany applied for an interlocutory order so as to be able to continue to apply the existing limit values in Germany until a final decision has been taken by the General Court. By decision of May 15, 2013, the president of the General Court ordered the Commission to approve the continued application of the limit values notified by Germany for antimony, arsenic, mercury, barium, and lead until the General Court's final decision in the case.
The General court will deliver final judgment on the substance of this case at a later date.
Why It Matters
The General Court has recently decided that until the final decision on the action brought by Germany against the Commission's decision, Germany may continue to apply its existing limit values, which are in line with those laid down in the earlier Directive 88/378/EEC, and in its view superior to the new EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.
Until a final decision is published, companies selling products into the German market must comply with provisions provided under German law for five of the elements listed in EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC: lead, arsenic, mercury, barium and antimony,
How UL Can Help
UL consumer products group's accredited laboratories can assist with third-party testing and certification requirements under the EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (Annex II, Part III), including requirements on the new migration limits for certain elements.
To learn how UL's quality assurance programs for children's products and chemical management services can help ensure regulatory compliance for every country in which you source or sell, click Contact UL and a UL representative will follow up with you soon.