Dubai: Children’s toys have now become child-proof, as they not only have to go through one set of regulations but two.
The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) on Sunday announced the launch of its scheme, which ensures toys in Abu Dhabi for children up to the age of 14 comply with UAE safety standards and requirements.
Toys that meet the scheme’s requirements will be awarded the Abu Dhabi Trustmark, allowing parents to choose the right toys for their children.
According to QCC officials, the Children Toys Conformity Scheme was developed in accordance with international guidelines and best practices. Toy suppliers that adhere to the mandatory safety requirements are urged to submit their products and receive the Trustmark certification, as it will provide their products with further validity of their compliance with health and safety regulations in Abu Dhabi’s markets.
The move came after complaints of fake and sub-standard toys finding their way onto the market shelves and endangering children.
“The UAE toy market is expanding exponentially. The Toy Conformity Scheme launched by QCC will provide consumers the trust in toys bearing the Abu Dhabi Trust Mark,” said Abdullah Al Khoury, Acting Executive Director for Consumer and Market Services at QCC.
However, the new scheme should not undermine the efforts of other regulatory bodies related to the import of toys. An official at the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) told Gulf News yesterday that its guidelines are mandatory for each emirate, and that it adopts the best international practices, including those set by the European Union.
“All of the imported toys are monitored to guarantee their compliance with our regulations, which are also set in line with the [Gulf Cooperation Council] and international standards,” said the official.
Toys authorised by Esma currently have the G-mark certificate (Gulf Conformity Mark), which testifies compliance with GCC-wide safety and health regulations for toys.
As the authorised body in the UAE to set national guidelines for consumer products, Esma not only monitors toys but also tobacco products, organic foods, diesel, tyres, and oxo-biodegradable plastic bags.
Meanwhile, in Dubai, authorities yesterday explained that the code currently adopted and implemented in the emirate covers all safety aspects of children up to the age of four, as the civic body adopts international best practices.
Raed Al Marzouqi, Acting Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News yesterday that its toy safety code is based on European standards. “Every time a vendor wants to sell new toys at his shop, he is required to either send a sample to our Central Laboratory, or to submit a test report issued from a laboratory where toys are tested as per the European standard EN-71, set by the European Union,” said Al Marzouqi.
“Vendors are also required to acquire a permit from the department of health and safety before importing and selling toys. Once it is submitted, their application is then reviewed and we will decide whether or not the toys meet our standards before they enter the market,” he said.
Even though the markets adhere to strict regulations, invalid toys may fall into the hands of customers if they enter via the free zones, as they do not fall under Dubai Municipality’s jurisdiction.