Selling toys over the Internet - additional responsibilities

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The sale of toys over the Internet requires additional information to be provided to customers. These are warnings, e.g. specifying the minimum age of a child. Before putting the toys in the store, make sure that the goods are CE marked.

Selling toys over the Internet - what rules?

The requirements to be met by toys, including the way of marking them, are specified in the Regulation of the Minister of Development and Finance of October 20, 2016 on the requirements for toys.

Not only toy manufacturers and importers should be interested in knowing them, but also companies selling toys. The regulation imposes additional obligations on companies selling toys over the Internet. They concern the way toys are presented in the online store. It must take into account that potential buyers are able to familiarize themselves with the additional information (so-called warnings) required for toys.

What to remember in the product description?

The regulations attach great importance to the fact that there are mandatory warnings on toys. They should also be visible to people buying toys in the online store. The idea is that you can read the warnings before making a purchasing decision, not after receiving the toy. For the lack of warnings visible in the store when selling toys via the Internet, the Trade Inspection may impose penalties.

Warnings that determine the decision to buy a toy, such as the minimum and maximum age of the child, as well as other applicable warnings, are placed on the packaging or in another way clearly visible to the consumer before the purchase, also in the case of online purchase (§ 5 point 10 of the Regulation on requirements for toys). This means that when selling your toys online and placing your product in your store, you need to be mindful of these cautions.

How to include mandatory warnings about toys in the online shop so that they are visible to the potential buyer? The law does not regulate this. The requirement is considered to be met if:

  • the product description will "prescribe" warnings on the toy and its packaging; or

  • the product card will include photos of toys and their packaging with clear warnings on them.

Check that the toy is CE marked

Each toy should bear the CE mark. It is the manufacturer's declaration that it meets the essential safety requirements. If the toy does not have such a mark - it should not be sold. In the event of an inspection by the Trade Inspection, the toys will almost certainly be checked whether they bear the CE mark by the manufacturer. This also applies when selling toys over the Internet.

Trade Inspection Control

The toys available on the market are inspected by the Trade Inspection at the request of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Such an inspection may also be carried out in a store selling toys over the Internet. According to the information provided by UOKiK, inspectors check, among others, whether each toy has the CE mark, whether there are warnings and the required operating instructions.

Mandatory warnings - what to remember?

Look for warnings on the packaging and on the toy before placing the toy in the online store. Warnings should be either rewritten in the product description, or photographed and placed on the product card (toys) in the online store.

The text of a warning is always preceded by the words "Warning" or "Warnings", respectively. It is worth remembering this when "rewriting" warnings to the product description in the online store when selling toys over the Internet.

It is also worth remembering that toys cannot bear warnings if they conflict with the intended use of the toy, as determined by their function, size and characteristics. Therefore, you cannot with the warnings "circumvent the law", when it turns out that the manufactured product does not meet the requirements.

Example 1:

The manufacturer of a children's rattle, which looks like an infant rattle, which does not meet the requirements for toys for such young children, cannot place it on the market with the label: "Warning: not suitable for children under 36 months" - because on the basis of its size, function, characteristics rattles, it can be assessed that the intended use of the toy will consist in playing with it by children younger than 36 months.

What warnings should be posted in the store?

Mandatory warnings to be considered when selling toys over the Internet, which affect the purchase of the toy and which should be visible in the online store, state at least the minimum or maximum age of the user.

There are also warnings that, depending on the type of toy, may apply to:

  • user skills,

  • maximum or minimum user weight

  • information about the need to ensure that the toy must only be used under adult supervision.

The law regulates in detail the warnings for certain categories of toys. They also apply when toys are sold over the Internet.

  • Warnings - minimum age of the child

Toys that may be dangerous for children under 36 months shall carry a warning such as "Not suitable for children under 36 months" or "Not suitable for children under 3 years" or a graphic symbol warning.

  • Warnings - activity toys

Activity toys shall bear a warning that reads: "For home use only"

A motion toy is a toy intended for domestic use, the supporting structure of which remains stationary during play, and which is intended for climbing, jumping, swinging, sliding, rocking, turning, crawling, crawling or a combination of these activities.

  • Warnings - functional toys

Functional toys shall bear the warning "To be used under the direct supervision of an adult".

A functional toy is a toy that functions and is used in the same way as a product, appliance or installation intended for use by adults, and which may be a scale model of such product, appliance or installation.

Functional toys are also accompanied by a warning that failure to comply with the precautionary measures will expose the user to risks specified by the manufacturer, usually associated with the device or product of which the toy is a scaled-down model or an imitation.

  • Warnings - chemical toys

The chemical toy packaging carries the warning: "Not suitable for children under (*) years of age. For use under adult supervision". The age to enter in this alert should be specified by the manufacturer.

Chemical toy - a toy intended for the direct handling of chemicals and mixtures, which is used in a manner appropriate to the age of the child, under adult supervision.

  • Warnings - roller skates, skateboards, scooters, bicycles

Rollerblades, roller skates, ice skates, roller skates, skateboards, scooters and children's bikes that are toys bear the warning: "Personal protective equipment should be used. Do not use in traffic."

  • Warnings - water toys

Water toys shall bear the warning: "To be used in water only, at a depth where the child can feel the bottom under the feet, and under adult supervision."

Water toy - a toy intended for use in shallow water for a child, capable of lifting or holding a child in the water.

  • Warnings - toys in food

Toys contained in food or co-mingled with food shall bear the following warning: "Toy contained. Adult supervision recommended".

  • Warnings - imitations of protective masks and helmets

Imitation protective masks and helmets bear the warning: "This toy does not provide protection."

  • Warnings - toys intended to be hung

Toys intended to be hung on a cradle, cot or pram by means of strings, ribbons, elastics or straps shall bear a warning permanently affixed to the packaging: "In order to prevent possible injury by the child entanglement, the toy should be removed when the child tries to crawl. ".

  • Warnings - fragrances

Fragrances packaging for board games, cosmetic kits and flavor games containing fragrances specified in the recipes shall bear the warning: "Contains fragrances that may cause allergies".