As the year draws to a close, the toy industry is gaining momentum. The holiday shopping season is here, the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg will soon open its gates and the EN-71 series of standards will bring some changes for manufacturers. And TÜV SÜD is now publishing the findings of TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge 2016, a study on product safety and quality which surveyed both consumers and business professionals. The survey provided two important findings: firstly, the general public sets great store by safe toys, and, secondly, consumers are prepared to pay higher prices for safe products. At the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, at TÜV SÜD's stand G-02/F-01, Hall 11.1, interested visitors can inform themselves of the study findings and the new requirements of the series of standards.
82 % of the consumers surveyed in Germany state that they worry about toy safety, making children's toys one of the top areas for consumers' safety concerns. Key factors that offer guidance to consumers are the country of origin (55 %) and product safety labels (50 %). 80 % of consumers surveyed are willing to pay a premium for high-quality and safe toys. Only just over half of respondents think that manufacturers in Germany are already well prepared and positioned for the challenges involved in ensuring product safety. However, consumers generally wish companies to do more for product safety, for example by testing product batches. German companies seem to be aware of consumers’ wishes as, according to the study, they have the highest capacities for actions aimed at increasing product safety, such as in-house testing. At the same time, third-party testing and inspection organisations are the most important partners for German companies in helping them to ensure product safety. The TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge 2016 also shows that compliance with product standards will continue to play a key role in product safety in the future.
Changes in the EN-71 series of standards
As these standards keep changing, calling in a third-party service provider for support may be a helpful move. The revision of the European toy safety standard EN-71 confronts toy manufacturers with new requirements and changes that need to be implemented. Various upcoming regulations, such as those for drawstrings and cords, propellers, rotors and flying toys, inflatables and trampolines, have changed. In addition, the European Toy Guideline has introduced stricter limits for eight chemical substances. TÜV SÜD supports manufacturers and retailers by supplying the TÜV SÜD Toy Mark, which enables them to demonstrate their commitment to quality. The tests for the certification mark are based on the requirements of the GS mark while also including more in-depth chemical tests. TÜV SÜD's safety and quality services extend from the conceptual design phase to tests of conformity of production. Beyond these areas, TÜV SÜD also offers pre- and post-shipping inspections and factory inspections in the production countries. A B2B portal for chemical data management is a further new service which rounds off TÜV SÜD's portfolio. The portal aims at creating an IT infrastructure which not only organises, aligns and saves test results, but also creates additional value added by allowing BOM-oriented testing, quantitative risk assessment, and supplier pool management.
TÜV SÜD at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg
TÜV SÜD has tested the safety of toys and supported manufacturers in reaching compliance for over 25 years. Anyone interested in more information about TÜV SÜD's services and the changes in the European toy safety standard can meet our experts at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg from 1 to 6 February 2017, Hall 11.1, Stand G-02/F-01.
Further information on product safety is available at: www.tuv-sud.com/ps.
Note for editorial staff: The high-resolution photo is available for download here or at www.tuv-sud.com/pressphotos (Section: "Media Photos").
Caption: TÜV SÜD experts test the flammability of soft toys. The flame may only spread at a defined rate.
TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge 2016 is a representative study on product safety. It was carried out in four markets worldwide: China, India, USA and Germany. Over 7,000 consumers and 600 business professionals were surveyed over the phone and asked for their opinions and attitudes on various subjects related to the product safety of toys, electronic products, wearables and food, as well as textiles and shoes.
Press-contact: Heidi Atzler