Every manufacturer or first supplier in the Community must place a CE mark on their toy to indicate that it has been made in conformity with the essential safety requirements of the directive. It is an enforcement mark (not a sign of quality or safety) and was established to ensure free movement of product throughout the European Union – a sort of passport for toys. It has to appear, along with the first supplier’s name and address “in a visible, legible and indelible form” on the toy or its packaging.
The Lion Mark
The Lion Mark was developed in 1988 by the BTHA to perform a function not covered by the CE Mark, namely, to act as a recognisable consumer symbol denoting safety and quality. Only BTHA members may apply to use the symbol. To display the Lion Mark, a BTHA member must have signed a licence agreement with the Association which sets out the terms of its use. Failure to abide by these terms will lead to revocation of the licence. The Lion Mark indicates the member’s adherence to the BTHA Code of Practice which includes the ethical and safe manufacture of toys, a ban on counterfeit goods, responsible marketing, a commitment to improving sustainability and a desire to promote the value of play. Unlike the CE Mark, therefore, the Lion Mark is truly a consumer symbol. It means that consumers can be assured that a toy which bears the Lion Mark has been manufactured by a BTHA member who believes in making good quality safe toys.
Approved Lion Mark Retailer
In 1991 the Toy Retailers Association (TRA) joined up with the BTHA to launch the Approved Lion Mark Retailer Scheme. Members of the TRA also follow a strict Code of Practice which demands they only sell products conforming to EN 71. As such, TRA members can display the above sign in their shops. This does not mean that all products in the shop carry the Lion Mark but that all products meet the Toy Safety Standard.
This pictogram began appearing on toys in 1995 and means “Warning – do not give the toy to children less than three years, nor allow them to play with it.” With the symbol, or in instructions included in the pack, will be given details of the hazard, e.g. “because of small parts”. This symbol replaces the warning “not suitable for children under 3 years,” which has often been confused with age advice – those discretionary guidelines used by the manufacturer to help the buyer match the product with a child’s age, interest and ability.
This document contains guidance only. It is intended to explain obligations and how to fulfil them. However readers are reminded that the text of the original regulation, directive or standard is the only authentic legal reference and that the information in this document does not constitute legal advice. The British Toy & Hobby Association does not accept any liability with regard to the contents of this document.