Children’s toys still have safety concerns in the EU

Toys continue to lead all consumer goods in terms of volume of product recalls and safety notifications, according to the latest Stericycle European Recall and Notification Index.

It identified toys and children’s clothing as two key areas with safety records lagging behind other industries, largely because of the impact from recent EU legislation.

Overall, consumer notifications held steady in terms of volume from Q2 to Q3 2014 – and in fact they dropped from the same period last year. The increase in scrutiny as a result of consistent updates and amends to the EU Toys Directive is making it harder for companies to comply. Add to this the influx of manufacturing contracts migrating from the Far East and the seasonal demands on the toy industry plus the pressure on manufacturers mounts significantly.

Farzad Henareh the European managing director, Stericycle Expert Solutions, commented: “The toy manufacturers of Europe are in a difficult spot, they must comply with a wide range of regulations, while also facing mounting external pressures from elsewhere. The figures highlight the extent of this problem, but really the question is how to fix it. Companies can experience high levels of brand damage by going through a recall or safety notification, especially in relation to children’s goods. Avoiding the recall entirely is the preferred solution, but if it has to happen, doing it quickly and efficiently is crucial.”

The total number of recalls and safety notifications across all industries in Europe actually fell, both in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms in Q3. Down 7% from Q2 and down 9% from this period last year. A summer slump in production explains some of the decline from earlier this year. The decline from this time in 2013 is more likely due to familiarity with successful means of manufacturing, as well as companies maturing and becoming more accustomed to regulations.

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