Is the EN71 standard the same as having a CE mark?
Posted on 1st November 2022 at 12:25
When it comes to the testing of items such as toys, the question is often asked as to whether the EN71 standard is the same as having a CE mark.
The simple answer to this is no.
However, in order to understand why, you will need to know a couple of things.
What is the EN71/BSEN71 standard?
All toys sold in the European Union must adhere to the 12 European Product Safety standards that are EN71.
In the UK these are known as the BSEN71 standards and apply to all toys sold within the United Kingdom.
The standard is separated into 12 parts; Parts 1,2 and 3 are the most commonly used.
Part 1 has around 210 different tests and covers two age groups (toys intended for the under 3 age group, and those intended for the over 3 age group) and checks for physical and mechanical safety. Toys are subjected to a number of tests that are designed to mimic the natural behaviour of children when playing.
Part 2 covers the flammability and burn rate of toys: teddy bears, soft toys, play tents, dress up costumes, etc.
Part 3 concerns the toxicity and migration of certain elements and is generally for most toy materials such as textiles, wooden toys, paper, plastics & coatings, and paperboard, etc. These are known as Category 3 materials.
You can find out more about the 3 parts on our toy safety testing page.
It is possible to perform the testing required yourself, but to do so would be costly and quite onerous - lab testing ensures that the tests are completed correctly and quickly.
What is a CE/UKCA mark?
A CE mark is a symbol that you may have seen on many products. It shows that the manufacturer believes that a product (in this case, a toy) meets EU safety, health or environmental requirements.
It is, however, a self certified mark. This means that, although a manufacturer has to carry out a conformity assessment, set up a technical file, issue a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and place the mark in the correct way on the product, there is no way for the consumer to know that the toy actually conforms.
Although there are bodies that are there to check that a product is safe and maintained to a high standard (for example, in the UK, The Trading Standards Service is just one body that monitors this), they often rely on concerned members of the public reporting flouting of the regulations.
How do the EN71/BSEN71 standard and the CE/UKCA mark relate to each other?
The simple fact is that you cannot rely on the public trusting your product if it has a CE mark alone.
EN71 standards are used to verify self declared CE marking as presumptive compliance for the EU and (as BSEN71) to verify a UKCA declaration mark.
By ensuring that your product has the correct lab produced EN71 standards certification alongside your self declared CE mark, you can establish trust in your target market, and be sure that you have all bases covered.
At the Northern Testhouse (Leicester) Ltd, we are experts in EN71 toy safety testing, so you can be sure that your product is compliant in the UK, USA, Australia and any other market in which you wish to sell.
We offer a free initial consultation, so if you have a product that needs EN71 testing, please get in touch.
Tagged as: CE mark, EN71, toy testing
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