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Chinese toy makers under eco-pressure

Staff writer ▼ | July 29, 2013
An updated European Union safety regulation on toys took full effect on Saturday. Chinese toy makers will be under the greatest pressure because they are the biggest exporters of toys.
China toy makers
China toy makersAn updated European Union safety regulation on toys took full effect on Saturday. Chinese toy makers will be under the greatest pressure because they are the biggest exporters of toys.


The directive sets stricter requirements on the quality of toys and manufacturers' obligations by adding more articles on the chemical content. China is the world's biggest toy producer and exporter, taking more than 65 percent share of the international market.

China exported toys worth $11.45 billion in 2012, including $2.6 billion to the European Union, making the EU China's second-largest market for toys, according to the General Administration of Customs.

The new directive includes a number of new articles on toys' mechanical and electrical performance and chemical and hygiene requirements. For example, 25 micrograms of arsenic, a poisonous substance that exists widely in nature but can cause cancer and damage the nervous system, were allowed in every gram of toy materials in the previous regulation. The new directive restricts the arsenic content to 0.9 micrograms per gram of toy materials, writes China Daily.

Using more environmentally friendly materials means the cost for toy manufacturers will increase by a large margin. According to the customs authority, China's toy exports registered a slight increase of only 5.8 percent in 2012, 1.6 percentage points lower than a year earlier, due to the increased overseas quality requirements and rising production costs.

The regulation will bring more challenges for large producers, which are building their brands in overseas markets.


 

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