Baby Carrier Safety Standards and Regulations in the European Union

Posted on 8 Comments

Baby Carrier

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

In this guide, we cover what importers and manufacturers must know about baby carrier compliance requirements, including the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), EN standards, and REACH.


  • Request a free 30-minute call with Ivan Malloci to learn how we can help you with:
  • Find product requirements
  • Certification and labeling
  • Lab testing


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. This also includes baby carriers.

Harmonised Standards

Complying with harmonised standards provides a presumption of conformity with the technical requirements of the directive. What this means is that the product is considered to be safe and compliant, as long as the product meets the technical specifications outlined in the relevant harmonised standards.

Specifically, the GPSD designates two harmonised standards – EN 13209-1 and EN 13209-2 – for manufacturers, and importers of framed back carriers and soft carriers to comply with.

Traceability Labelling

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

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

User Instructions

User instructions are usually included with the product, and are distributed at the retail stage. It should contain information such as:

  • Intended use
  • Assembly and installation instructions
  • Use instructions
  • Maintenance and cleaning methods
  • Warning statements (if any)

Risk Assessment Report

A risk assessment report contains information describing the types of hazards, the severity, and any other knowledge regarding the harm that could happen to the users or the environment.

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

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

Importers and manufacturers might need to submit the risk assessment report to the authorities when necessary.

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.

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

This standard identifies safety requirements and methods for testing child back carriers that have framed support for carrying a seated child.

These framed back carriers are meant for children to use when they’re at least 6 months of age until they weigh a maximum of 18 kilograms.

According to the standard, the carriers should be designed in such a fashion that carers can use them to carry the child on their back and be hands-free while standing and walking.

EN 13209-1 does not cover framed back carriers for children with special needs.

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

This standard specifies safety requirements and methods for testing soft carriers that:

  • Do not have a framed support
  • Incorporate integral leg openings

The design of these soft carriers must allow carers can carry the child on their torso and be hands-free while standing or walking.

The soft carriers covered by the standard should be designed to carry a maximum weight of 15 kilograms.

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

This technical report covers guidelines for the safety of children’s slings that are:

a. Designed for the carer to carry the child solely on their torso

b. Designed to allow the carer to be hands-free while standing and walking

c. Not having integrated openings for the child’s limbs

The technical report describes “integrated leg openings” as holes in the product that are designed for the child’s legs to go through.


REACH is a regulation that limits chemical substances and heavy metals in consumer products.

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 materials.

Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

According to the ECHA, substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are substances that may have negative effects on the environment and human health. The ECHA can propose to have a substance added to the Candidate List if the substance can be described as any of the following:

  • Carcinogenic
  • Mutagenic
  • Toxic for reproduction
  • Persistent
  • Bioaccumulative

SVHCs are not banned. However, importers and manufacturers should notify the ECHA via data registration in the SCIP database if their products contain more than 0.1% weight by weight of such substances.

Materials used to manufacture baby carriers may contain SVHC such as the following:

Annex XVII

Annex XVII of REACH lists dangerous substances that are restricted or banned for use in products in the European Union. Restrictions may vary between product and substance categories.

Baby carriers or their constituents may contain substances listed in Annex XVII such as:

a. Azodyes listed in Appendix 8 of REACH, which can be found in fabrics and are restricted to 0.003% by weight

b. Azodyes listed in Appendix 9 of REACH, which can be used to dye textiles and are restricted to 0.1% by weight

c. Cadmium, which is restricted to 0.01% by weight on plastic materials (e.g. polypropylene)

d. Some phthalates (e.g. DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP), which can be found in plasticised material and are restricted to 0.1% by weight

Textile Labelling and Fibre Composition Regulation

The Textile Labelling and Fibre Composition Regulation sets labelling requirements for products that contain at least 80% of textile fibres by weight. This makes the regulation applicable to certain types of baby carriers.

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

a. Composition of the textile fibres written in decreasing percentage order

b. Indicating any non-textile parts of animal origin (e.g., leather)

The types and names of textile fibres that can be used are available in Annex I of the regulation. If the baby carriers contain a textile fibre that is not enlisted within Annex I, the importer or manufacturer should apply for a new fibre type to be added.

Lab Testing

Product lab testing might be necessary to ensure compliance with substance restrictions, mechanical requirements, and other technical requirements. These requirements might be set by a regulation (e.g. REACH) or standard (e.g. EN 13209-1).

Here are some types of testing that might be relevant for baby carriers:

a. Chemical testing, to ensure that the product doesn’t contain restricted substances above the allowed limitations (e.g. phthalates, azodyes)

b. Physical testing, for example to ensure that the product:

  • Is strong enough to hold the baby until a certain weight
  • Doesn’t include sharp edges
  • Doesn’t not include small detachable parts that present choking hazards

c. Flammability testing, to ensure that the product doesn’t propagate a potential flame too fast

After the product passes the testing, importers and manufacturers receive a test report, which they can use as evidence that their products comply with relevant standards or regulations. For instance, a test report may state a product’s compliance with the requirements of EN 13209-1.

Here we list a few companies that offer testing services for baby carriers:

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 of 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 usually not labelled according to EU requirements. Hence, it’s critical that importers create label files for their overseas suppliers.

  • (USA & EU)


    • Request a free 30-minute call with Ivan Malloci to learn how we can help you with:
    • Find product requirements
    • Certification and labeling
    • Lab testing


    Disclaimer: The Site cannot and does not contain legal advice. The legal information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of legal advice. THE USE OR RELIANCE OF ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Full Disclaimer: Link

    Sources: Our articles are written in part based on publicly available information, and our own practical experience relating to product compliance. These are some of the primary sources we use:

  • 8 Responses to “Baby Carrier Safety Standards and Regulations in the European Union

    1. Giles at 9:17 pm

      Great article thanks, Fredrik! I am looking to develop a new type of baby carrier and am currently in the R&D phase of development and feasibility & viability. I would love to hear a little more about the specifics of developing a compliant product so I can make better decisions around design and manufacturing. Is there any way we could connect?

    2. Rachelle Takyi at 2:30 am


      I am the founder of a childrens brand and would like help with finding out how to get my baby swaddle blanket safety tested?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:17 pm

        Hi Rachelle,

        You will need to contact a testing company, such as QIMA, Intertek, SGS or Eurofins

    3. Zara at 4:29 am

      I was wondering about buying a ring sling for my newborn baby. Can you suggest to me if it’s going to work best for a newborn baby (5 months) Does it consists of any harmful material?

      1. Kristi Hayes-Devlin at 5:38 am

        Hello, Zara! I founded the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance, and we work with businesses to support them in ensuring their products meet all safety standards. You might be interested in our member directory to find ring slings from reputable companies.

        There are also babywearing educators who can help you find the perfect carrier for you and your baby.

    4. Julia at 10:32 am

      Hello, My name is Julia and I am a representative of Trilandcorporation.
      We want to produce baby carriers.

      Can you advise if it can be produced out of other materials, like recycled materials, leather + metal zippers, and can it be certified after according to the European Standards?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:07 am

        Hi Julia,

        That depends on whether these materials impact general design safety, and the substance content (e.g. lead and phthalates).

      2. Kristi Hayes-Devlin at 5:35 am

        Julia, I work with an organization called the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance. I founded the organization in 2010 to help businesses across the world make baby carriers that comply with standards and regulations. This article from the website might help answer your question.

    Leave a Reply

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

    Free Training Session

    Product Compliance in 2024

    1. United States, EU, and UK

    2. Product examples & case studies

    3. Ask your questions via Live Chat!