23 May 2014
Germany loses challenge to maintain heavy metal limits in toy safety
Germany recently lost a challenge to maintain national limits for five soluble heavy metals. Germany will follow the specifications for soluble heavy metals under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC. The effective date would be considered as immediate.
In May 2013, the General Court of the European Union (EU) published a press release stating that Germany may continue to apply its existing limits for 5 soluble heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, barium, lead and mercury) in toy materials until a final decision is made by the court1.
On 14 May 2014, the General Court of the EU published Press Release No 72/14 (Judgment in Case T-198/12, Germany vs Commission) to
1. Dismiss Germany’s action regarding soluble arsenic, antimony and mercury
2. Annul the Commission’s decision in so far as it approved the German limits for soluble lead until 21 July 2013
3. Declare, at Germany’s request, that there is no longer any need to adjucate on the action for soluble barium
As a result, Germany in effect will follow the specifications for soluble antimony, arsenic, barium, lead and mercury under the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC (TSD) with immediate effect2.
Highlights of the Press Release are summarised in Table 1.
Press Release No. 72/14, General Court of The European Union
Germany Toy Material (mg/kg )
Effective date not specified in Judgment and can be considered as ‘immediate’
Example of toy material
Dry, brittle, powder like or pliable materials
Liquid or sticky materials
Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for soluble heavy metals and other restricted substances in toys for the EU and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.