• Baby Carrier Safety Standards and Regulations in the EU: An Overview

    Posted on Leave a comment

    Baby Carrier

    Try our Product Compliance Software Tool Here

    Baby carriers imported to and manufactured in the European Union must be designed to comply with safety standards in mind. There are also chemicals and heavy metals restrictions to factor in. In addition, baby carriers must also be correctly labeled, lab tested, and documented.

    In this guide, we cover what EU-based importers and manufacturers must know about baby carrier compliance requirements, including GPSD, EN 13209-1, EN 13209-2, REACH, and more.

    General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)

    The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) covers the general safety of consumer products that are manufactured, imported, or sold in the EU, including baby carriers.

    The GPSD designates two harmonized EN standards – which are EN 13209-1 and EN 13209-2 for manufacturers, and importers of framed back carriers and soft carriers to comply with. Additionally, we are also covering CEN TR 16512, which is specific for baby slings, which is a product that is not covered by the mentioned EN standards.

    GPSD Requirements Summary

    • EN 13209-1 – Baby framed back carriers
    • EN 13209-2 – Baby soft carrier
    • CEN TR 16512 – Baby slings
    • Risk Assessment Report
    • User Manual
    • Technical File
    • Test Report
    • Traceability information

    Risk Assessment Report

    Risk assessment reports contain information describing the types of hazards, the severity of the hazards, and any other knowledge regarding the harm that could happen to the users or the environment.

    For example, a framed baby carrier might have these potential hazards to the users:

    • Chemical hazard
    • Flammability hazard
    • Choking and ingestion hazards due to small parts
    • Entanglement hazards

    Manufacturers and importers are required to submit the risk assessment reports to the authorities when necessary. Such requests can be made in case of a recall, or reported safety problems.

    User Manual

    A user manual is a document that provides detailed product structure, function description, safety instructions, disposal methods, and other information and warning terms to the users. A user manual is usually enclosed with the product and is distributed at the retail stage, which contains information such as:

    • Intended use
    • Assembly and installation instructions
    • Use instructions
    • Maintenance and cleaning methods
    • Warning statements and symbols

    Technical File

    A technical File is composed of a set of documents, reports, and information that might include the following:

    • Bill of materials (BOM)
    • Design files, including drawings
    • Label files
    • Packaging files
    • Relevant test reports
    • Relevant EN standards
    • Quality inspections records
    • Usage instructions
    • Production flow diagram

    Currently, there is no mandatory requirement for manufacturers or importers of baby carriers to keep a technical file, however, you can still create one as additional proof of your product’s safety. As mentioned, this can be required by the authorities in case of a recall or reported safety issues.

    Test Report

    A test report can be used to prove compliance with specific safety standards, such as EN 13209-1 or EN 13209-2. We discuss these standards more in detail, in the following sections of this article.

    Traceability Labeling

    The GPSD requires that the product or its packaging shall contain information to allow traceability. The information that shall be displayed on the label include:

    • Name and details of the importer
    • Batch number or serial number
    • Company address
    • Contact information

    EN 13209-1 – Child use and care articles – Baby carriers – Safety requirements and test methods – Framed back carriers

    EN 13209-1 is a standard that specifies the safety requirements and test methods for child back carriers with frames, which are designed to support children from 6 months of age up to a maximum weight of 22 kg.

    This type of framed back carrier is designed to be attached to carers’ torsos which allows them to have hands-free operation while they are standing or walking.

    Below, we briefly introduce some examples of regulated products and the scope of this standard.

    Product Examples

    • Hiking backpack carriers
    • Internal frame back carriers
    • Infant’s back carriers with lumbar support

    Scope

    We summarize the scope of EN 13209-1 in the following list:

    • Chemical hazards
    • Migration limit of certain elements (e.g. cadmium, chromium (III, VI), lead, nickel, mercury, formaldehyde)
    • Thermal hazards
    • Flammability
    • Choking and ingestion hazards
    • Entanglement hazards
    • Stability
    • Structural integrity
    • Suffocation hazards from packaging materials
    • Warning statements

    EN 13209-2 – Child use and care articles – Baby carriers – Safety requirements and test methods – Soft carrier

    EN 13209-2 specifies the safety requirements and test methods for baby soft carriers without an integrated supportive frame. This type of soft carrier has a similar appearance to a backpack, which allows caregivers a hands-free operation when standing and/or walking.

    The standard regulates soft carriers that are intended to carry newborn infants to infants of a maximum weight of 15 kg.

    Product Examples

    • Baby carrier hip seat
    • Baby carrier with adjustable bucket seat

    Scope

    We summarize the scope of EN 13209-2 in the following list:

    • Small parts cylinder test
    • Chemical hazards
    • Mechanical hazards
    • Choking and ingestion hazards
    • Entanglement hazards
    • Falling hazards
    • Head support requirements
    • Durability requirements
    • Attachment systems
    • Suffocation hazards from packaging materials
    • Marking and warning statements

    CEN TR 16512 – Child use and care articles – Guidelines for the safety of children’s slings

    CEN TR 16512 is a Technical Report released by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), which covers children sling that do not have integrated openings for the child’s limbs and is designed to be attached to the torso of the career and allow their hands-free operation when standing and/or walking.

    Similar to EN standards, Technical Reports establish safety requirements, test methods, and other aspects of the covered products.

    Product Examples

    • Children sling carriers
    • Baby wrap carriers

    Scope

    We summarize the scope of CEN TR 16512 in the following list:

    • Choking and ingestion hazards
    • Entrapment hazards for fingers in mesh
    • Suffocation hazards
    • Structural integrity and durability
    • Instructions for use
    • Chemical hazards
    • Flammability test methods and requirements

    REACH

    REACH is a regulation that sets limits for chemical substances and heavy metals contained in consumer products, including baby carriers.

    In the case of baby carriers, manufacturers and importers need to be concerned about toxic chemicals and heavy metals contained in the fabrics used for the seats and adjustable straps, as well as leather straps, plastic attachment systems, supportive metal frames, and other possible materials used in the baby carriers.

    We provide examples of some possible toxins and heavy metals that could be contained by baby carriers:

    • Aluminum
    • Arsenic
    • Barium
    • Cadmium
    • Chromium
    • Lead
    • Mercury
    • Nickel
    • Formaldehyde

    Textile Labeling Requirements

    The EU Textile Labelling Regulation sets labeling requirements for certain textile products manufactured or imported in the EU.

    One of the criteria for products to be regulated by the Textile Labelling Regulation is products made up of at least 80% of textile fibers by weight. This makes regulation applicable to certain types of soft baby carriers, framed baby carriers, and sling carriers.

    Regulated products must carry a permanent label disclosing the following information:

    a. Composition of all textile fibers written in decreasing percentage order

    b. Indicating any non-textile parts of animal origin

    If the baby carriers are sold in one or more EU countries, the label content must be translated into all the official national languages of the destined country.

    The types and names of textile fibers described in the label are available in Annex I of the EU Textile Labelling Regulation. If the baby carriers contain a textile fiber that is not enlisted within Annex I, the manufacturer or the importer shall apply for a new fiber type to be added.

    Amazon Requirements

    Amazon adopts the requirements set by EN 13209-1, EN 13209-2, and CEN / TR 16512 as the compliance standard for framed baby carriers, soft baby carriers, and slings.

    Before listing these products, sellers must submit the test report for each ASIN or model number which is able to demonstrate the compliance of the listed products to the EN standards. We recommend you hire an accredited laboratory to perform the assessment.

    Lab Testing

    Before importing baby carriers to the EU, make sure your products comply with the safety standards we introduce in this guide. There are some international lab testing agencies that are qualified to conduct lab tests for baby carriers:

    • QIMA
    • SGS
    • TÜV SÜD
    • Bureau Veritas

    Compliance Risks

    Baby carriers manufactured outside the EU are not by default designed to comply with EN 13209-1, EN 13209-2, REACH, or other EU standards and regulations. Hence, it’s critical for importers, in particular, to verify compliance before placing baby carriers manufactured overseas, on the EU market.

    This is also the case for manufacturers importing materials from outside the EU. Certain fabrics, plastics, and metal parts can contain restricted substances such as Phthalates, lead, and cadmium.

    Here are some the main compliance risks applicable to baby carriers:

    • Materials containing harmful chemicals and heavy metals
    • Physical and mechanical safety issues (e.g. poor construction quality)
    • Small parts

    Further, products made outside the EU are almost never labeled according to EU requirements. Hence, it’s critical that importers create label files for their overseas suppliers.

  • Any questions about product compliance? We are here to help.

    Contact us

    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *