Tech

Dangerous toy story: Study finds unsafe items for sale at online marketplaces

The toy industry has a message for Amazon, Alibaba, eBay and Wish: Stop playing with childrens safety.

According to a study out Wednesday by the trade association Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), a whopping 97 percent of 193 toys bought through those online marketplaces did not meet the EUs toy safety rules, and 76 percent of supposedly safe toys were outright dangerous.

The study, conducted in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, found bath toys containing dangerous chemicals, teddy bears with sharp metal, and rattles with small detachable parts widely available online. In most cases it was also impossible to hold anyone accountable; 83 percent of toys bought did not have information on sellers.

And TIE, a toy lobby that could benefit from rule changes, wants EU law to fix it.

“Whats important is that online marketplaces are recognized as having a role in the supply chain. Everybody else has a responsibility except for platforms,” said TIEs director general, Catherine Van Reeth.

TIE joins a chorus of voices, including brand owners and consumer organizations, pressuring the European Commission to impose more obligations on e-commerce companies.

The Commission has a number of options for doing so: It could revise the product safety directive or impose requirements via the Digital Services Act, a set of rules on how online platforms deal with illegal content and products thats due to be presented by the end of the year.

The new legislation will define “due process obligations” for digital services including online marketplaces through which products come onto the EU market, Werner Stengg, a member of Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestagers cabinet, said at a webinar this week.

The TIE findings are in line with another study released earlier this year, carried out by European consumer organizations, which found that two-thirds of tested items bought online failed the EUs product safety rules.

The toy lobby expects EU legislation to require platforms to screen third-party sellers; to react when illegal products are spotted and ensure they dont reappear (so-called take-down and stay-down obligations); and to take proactive action to ensure dangerous toys are not put up for sale in Europe, said Lars Vogt, TIEs senior policy officer who was also project manager for the report.

According to TIE, Amazon was the only online platform that flagged suspect toys to national market surveRead More – Source