GPC Newsletter Oct-2020

Toys, both imported and locally manufactured, constitute a significant market for many countries. Over the past decides, many countries have adopted toy safety regulations or reinforced their current regulatory framework. The United States adopted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008, and the European Union adopted Directive 2009/48/EC on the Safety of Toys in 2009. They were soon followed by the Eurasian Economic Union, which adopted regulation CU TR 008/2011 in 2011. Turkey adopted a regulation based on the EU Directive on Toy Safety in 2016, and India’s Toy Quality Control Order was enacted in early 2020.

In countries where comprehensive toy safety regulations have been adopted, toys are most often subject to a two-tier regulatory framework. First, a legislative act sets out the general obligations placed upon the industry. Public authorities then request an authorised standardisation body to draft detailed safety requirements in the form of standards. For example, the European Union, the United States, and the Eurasian Economic Union all have both a regulation and a set of safety standards.

Regulatory frameworks applicable to toy safety may vary from one jurisdiction to another. They tend, however, to share some common features. Such features typically include a requirement to comply with safety provisions in relation to the toys’ physical, mechanical, electrical, radioactive, flammability-related and, of course, chemical properties. The latter generally include lists of substances which may not be contained in toys, substances which may be contained under certain concentrations, and migration limits. 

Other common features often consist in a requirement for manufacturers to affix warnings, ensure the toys’ traceability, and perform a conformity assessment prior to placing the toys on the market. Conformity assessment may be performed according to various modalities (e.g. self-assessment or third-party assessment) and normally results in the issuance of a declaration of conformity.

Regulatory News
Canada : Canadian Government plans order adding ‘plastic manufactured items’ to Schedule One of Cepa

Canada is one of the countries that take action on plastic waste and pollution. On October 10th 2020 the Canadian government plans to propose an order to add "plastic manufactured items" to Schedule One of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (Cepa). Schedule One is the country’s list of toxic substances.

Through listing substance in Schedule One it will give the government a tool to address plastic pollution at different stages of the lifecycle of plastic manufactured items, such as manufacture, import, sale, use and disposal of articles.

The aim is to set up regulatory actions to address plastic pollution and is part of the government’s broader plan to manage plastic products, recover and recycle plastics and reach zero plastic waste by 2030.

The government also laid out plans to ban six specific types of single use plastics:

  1. checkout bags;
  2. straws;
  3. stir sticks;
  4. six-pack rings;
  5. cutlery; and
  6. foodware made from hard-to-recycle plastics.

The government also released its final scientific assessment of plastic pollution, which concluded "action is needed to reduce macro-plastics and microplastics that end up in the environment". The assessment focused on plastic waste entering the environment and did not review the efficacy of waste management processes like mechanical or chemical recycling.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said it will accept comments until 9 December on its plan to ban the six categories of single-use products. Regulations would then be finalised by the end of 2021.