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New amendment A3 of the EU toy standard EN 71-1

The European standardisation committee CEN published a revision of the toy standard EN 71-1:2011 +A3:2014.

A new amendment A3 to the EU toy standard EN 71-1 (physical and mechanical requirements) has been published by CEN in March. There is a transitional period allowing the old requirements to be used until September 2014. The amendment A3 is not harmonised yet. A standard or amendment is harmonised after publication in the EU Official Journal. Only harmonised standards can be used to show compliance to the EU Toy Directive 2009/48/EC.

Amendment on paperboard, visibility and legibility of warnings and interpretation issues

Two different subjects “paperboard” and “warnings” together with some pending interpretation issues have been joined in order to reduce the number of amendments to EN 71-1. Please find below some highlights of the content:

Paperboard:

Paperboard is excluded from the small parts requirements. The exclusion is due to the properties of paperboard to soften and lose its form and strength when wetted by children that chew and bite on paperboard. The wet pieces do not pose a significant choking risk. The exclusion although does not apply to paperboards that are small parts as received and weakly attached small parts. Attached paperboard pieces that are small parts and can be detached by less than 25N can be ingested while they are still dry and pose a choking risk. For this paperboard small parts and weakly attached small parts are not allowed.

Visibility and legibility of warnings:

In order to improve the visibility and legibility of warnings, good practice guidance is given.

Please find below the items covered:

  • Emphasise the warning: e.g. by placing them in a prominent position
  • Contrast, background and colours: e.g. by advising sharp contrast and avoiding of strong background patterns
  • Reflecting surfaces and obscuring material: e.g. by avoiding highly reflecting surfaces
  • Font type: by using sans-serif font types
  • Font size: no recommendation is given for font size in order to avoid the use of only the smallest specified font size, however it is recommended to use larger font sizes where possible to improve visibility and legibility.
  • Logical direction of text: by considering logical lay-out directions

Changes due to interpretation issues:

  • Toy and packaging requirements for plastic sheeting and bags have been harmonised
  • Explanation of the terms of elastic and felt fabric in relation to small part exclusions
  • The accuracy specification for the Gauss meter has been corrected

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