It is a legal requirement that all toys sold within the EU pass certain criteria as set out in a directive called EN71, and bear the CE mark. Toys intended for children under the age of 14 must meet with the criteria set out in this Standard, and soft toys suitable from birth.
This Standard applies not only to factory made toys, but to handmade ones, too. Handmade toys cannot simply be labelled as ‘decorative’ items. The only exemption is for Christmas decorations, which must still comply with product safety standards.
For a small, handmade toy business like mine, this can seem like a daunting, if not impossible task.
With the help of CE Marking and product safety specialists, Conformance, who have put together a very helpful pack to help you through the process, and through working together with other crafters, many of us have achieved this aim.
If you are a toy maker and would like to gain help and support from fellow crafters through this process, there are two groups on Facebook which I help to admin, though Vicki from Miss Gregory’s Gorgeous Gifts must be credited with doing most of the hard work!
For general soft toys and knitted toys, there is the CE Marked Soft Toy Support Network.
For sock toy makers, there is CE Marked Sock Toys – Support Network.
To protect personal and business information, these groups are ‘closed’ and you will need to apply to join. One of the admin team will send you a message, so you may need to check your ‘others’ folder on Facebook.
There are lots of friendly and talented makers in these groups. One of these is Erica Martin, of Odds & Soxlets who designed these lovely banners for the groups. Just click on the correct banner to take you to the group you would like to join.
Myself, the admin team and all the members of these groups can only advise on CE marking from their own personal experiences and the research they have personally carried out and we are unable to give any kind of legal advice.