Oh wait a minute. Maybe CE stands for something else…cluttersome extras, corporate entrails…
So today was consumed by investigations into the legalities of toy making! Firstly, thank you all for your very useful and insightful comments on my last post. Recommended blog posts have been visited, options digested and now I have a few precious nuggets of information for all of you pondering CE certification.
Most useful was a telephone conversation with Brian at the City of Edinburgh Council Analytical and Scientific Services department (CEC ASS for short I guess!). This is one of the approved testing bodies recommended by http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38560.html the Government body in charge of Europe trade and export control.
Brian told me various interesting things which I will now bullet point for you all
- We cannot legally get away with omitting the title ‘toy’ or refuting the title ‘toy’ if the item is going to be displayed with, tagged or associated with toys. So basically, if it looks toy like and is likely to appeal to a child, it should be tested…Bum!
- The toy can be tested for three things
- Heavy metal Toxicity I think it is only the outer fabric that needs to be tested and, if you are lucky your fabric supplier may already have tested the fabric for HMT in which case this certificate will suffice. If you have the same toy but in different colourways then each toy will have to be tested because toxicity is related to die stuffs. Toy fabric manufacturers do tend to test for HMT but not tweed manufacturers it seems!
- Fire This test relates to the fire retardant capacity of each toy and is impacted by their shape and the type of material they are made from. Unfortunately, a fire test certificate from the fabric manufacturer will not suffice as the flammability of each toy depends also on its shape.
- Small parts and durability There is hope… Button eyes are not necessarily a no no! If they are very very well fixed and really hard to remove then they can potentially pass (or so Brian says). Seams will also be thoroughly checked to make sure that they are durable and no stuffing can escape.
and the cost of it all? Well I’m not sure yet…Brian’s going to list all relevant information including cost but he did infer approx £70 – £80 for each test (in other words around about £210 for all three). He did say that not all three tests are necessary but I didn’t quite get the complete gist of that. Maybe if you omit the small parts test then the item can have CE certification with an added note “not suitable for under 36 months”. I don’t know, I’ll have to get some clarification on that point.
So now I am contemplating the ‘Sophie’s choice’ type scenario: Which of my cuddly creatures do I send to the lab for mutilation, gassing and almost certain death…
and on that delightful note I bid you Auf Wiedersehen…pet.