EU's New Toy Safety Dictate Affects Chinese Toy Makers

The European Union has passed a new dictate on toy safety which reportedly has listed Chinese toy makers as the main target of supervision as the "Made in China" toys have taken up the majority of Europe's toy market.

Arlene McCarthy, chairman of the European parliament's Consumer Protection Committee, told media that since the old clauses can no longer ensure the safety of children's toys, plus the many problems involved in market supervision, the EU needs a much newer and comprehensive toy management rule. The dictate, which was passed by the European parliament on December 18, covers the materials, testing and market supervision of toys.

Chinese toys makers have made much progress in improving toy quality, but as their products occupy most of European's toy market, they are still the target of supervision. Statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce shows that China's toy export value reached USD8.484 billion in 2007, 90% of which came from the European and the U.S. markets.

At present, Chinese toy makers' major competitors are Germany, Japan, Austria and Belgium, most of which are EU member countries, so this dictate can also be seen as potentially part of a protectionist policy.

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