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Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what steps he will take to protect the viability of craft toymakers from the financial costs of adhering to the European Community toy safety regulations;(2) what representations he has had from craft industries involved in toy making about the financial implications of the European Community toy safety regulations; and if he will make a statement.

I have received a number of representations from craft toy-makers about the financial implications of complying with the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1989. The new regulations will require toys to comply with common European safety standards and bear a CE mark as a declaration of conformity. However, where applicable they will replace regulations and requirements dealing with the safety of toys, including those produced by craft toymakers, that have been in force in the United Kingdom for some 15 years. I have explained that where a toy has been manufactured in accordance with the common standards the toymaker will be able to self-certify the toy as conforming and the toy will qualify to bear the CE mark.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he has to seek to exempt craft toymakers from European community toy safety regulations.

[holding answer 19 December 1989]: The EC directive on the safety of toys is a treaty obligation and we are required to implement it in full. Although the directive, and thus the United Kingdom implementing regulations, does include exemptions for certain products which might otherwise be thought of as toys, there are no exemptions for particular categories of toy manufacturer.