The Government of India is already taking a tough stance against Chinese toys present in the market. It is clear from the strictness of the government agencies that the government is not going to take any care on the import of substandard and unsafe toys.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has seized 18600 foreign toys in the last one month. The surprising thing here is that all these toys have been seized from internationally renowned stores like Hamleys, WH Smith and Archies Toys, among others. All these toys have been seized for not having the BIS quality mark. The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has also issued notices to e-commerce companies asking them to follow the rules set by the government and not to sell substandard toys.
Why is action being taken on foreign toys?
From January 1, 2021, the central government has made it necessary for toys to follow the safety norms set by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Toy Quality Control Order. If the companies importing and manufacturing toys do not follow these rules, legal action is taken against them under the provisions of the BIS Act. The ISI mark given by BIS is necessary on toys imported from abroad, without which their sale is considered illegal.
What is a Toy Quality Control Order?
Under the Toy Quality Control Order, the rules regarding the quality of imported and indigenously made toys have been tightened. Under this, BIS certification has been made necessary for toys being made in India along with foreign toys. However, in this rule, handicrafts and GI (Geographical Indication) i.e. toys coming from a particular region are exempted. The substandard and unsafe toys being sent to the Indian market are being banned through the Toy Quality Control Order.
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What are BIS Safety Norms?
All toys manufactured or imported into India for children below 14 years of age must bear the BIS quality mark. In which non-electronic and soft toys also come along with all kinds of electric toys. Talking about the safety norms of BIS, aspects like mechanical, material, flammability, chemical (phthalates esters), finger paints, safety of the toy are examined. All these security checks are now done in government labs. If a consignment of toys fails this test, it is returned or destroyed at the importer’s expense.
In other countries like America, the rules are much stricter.
In a country like the US, the regulations for manufacturing and importing toys are much stricter than in India. In the US, certification is required for any product (from toys to clothing) made for children under the age of 12. The US has some of the strictest rules for toys and other items for children under the age of 3. Along with this, there are strict rules for things related to children of 3-5 years. There is a slight relaxation in the rules regarding toys and other products meant for children in the age group of 6-12 years, as they can handle themselves and do not accidentally swallow anything.
In America, efforts are made to protect small children from many possible dangers by keeping toys and other products in different groups. Children under the age of 3 usually put things in their mouths. If any part of these toys is small, it can also cause a child to suffocate. Due to which mere warning on such products does not work, rather it is banned. Different warning labels are placed on each toy according to the requirement.
US children’s toys and products are tested for banned substances, flammability, suffocation hazard and other potential hazards. Toys made of plastic are banned when the amount of chemicals is found to be more than 0.1 per cent. On the other hand, if a product is sold without testing, labeling and certification, there is a provision for confiscation along with a heavy fine of one lakh dollars on the manufacturers or importers and up to 5 years in jail.
What is a toy quality control order needed for?
Compared to the US, the rules in India were not very strict, but they are being tightened over the years. Under the Toy Quality Control Order, not only foreign but also indigenous toys are being banned without BIS quality mark. Along with this, it is mandatory to have ISI mark on electric toys as well as non-electronic toys. Along with this, BIS also checks to maintain quality and labeling of warnings etc. in toys.
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Are Foreign Toys Dangerous, Know Why Action Is Being Taken On Them In India
Story first published: Saturday, January 14, 2023, 14:36 [IST]