About to import or export toys to the European Union? EN 71 lab testing is the only way to verify if your products are compliant with the EU Toy Safety Directive.
In this guide, we explain what you must know before booking a lab test, and why you should not take a factory test report at face value.
What is EN 71 toy safety testing?
EN 71 is a set of standards specifying toy safety. EN 71 covers chemicals and heavy metals, flammability and mechanical properties:
- EN 71-1: Mechanical and physical properties
- EN 71-2: Flammability
- EN 71-3: Specification for migration of certain elements
- EN 71-4: Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities
- EN 71-5: Chemical toys (sets) other than experimental sets
- EN 71-6: Graphical symbols for age warning labelling
- EN 71-7: Finger paints
- EN 71-8: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use
- EN 71-9: Organic chemical compounds – Requirement
- EN 71-10: Organic chemical compounds – Sample preparation and extraction
- EN 71-11: Organic chemical compounds – Methods of analysis
- EN 71-12: N-Nitrosamines and N-Nitrosatable Substances
- EN 71-13: Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits and gustative games
- EN 71-14: Trampolines for domestic use
The purpose of EN 71 testing is to verify if your product is compliant with all applicable EN 71 parts, listed above.
Is EN 71 lab testing mandatory?
EN 71 compliance is mandatory when selling toys in the European Union. As an importer or exporter, it’s your responsibility to verify that the product is EN 71 compliant. Third-party lab testing is the only safe way to verify that this is the case.
Why do I need a test report?
You must provide records proving that your toy product is EN 71 compliant. That’s also exactly why you need an EN 71 test report, as it’s essentially a document proving that your product is compliant.
Assuming your product pass the lab test, you can then you this test report as part of your technical file.
How do I know which EN 71 part applies to my product?
When it comes to booking EN 71 lab testing, you don’t really need to keep track of which EN 71 standards apply to your product. Instead, the testing company can make this assessment for you.
All the testing lab need is the following information:
- Product name
- Product image
- Age group
Based on this, they can assess which EN 71 standards to include in the testing procedure.
Another option is to buy a requirements list from Productip.com.
Can I use a test report from my supplier?
This can only be done in the scenario in which you buy an already branded product. For example, you don’t need to get Mattel or Disney toys lab tested before selling in the EU.
However, this is not the case when dealing with suppliers on Alibaba.com, or at trade shows.
The reason is that test reports are product specific – sometimes even only applicable to a certain production run. As such, you cannot use a test report valid for a production run back in 2017, and use this as proof of compliance for an order you have not even placed yet.
This is the case even if the test report is valid for the exact same product, which is unlikely to be the case.
The most common example is that suppliers offer old test reports, sometimes owned by entirely different companies, to demonstrate that they are compliant.
However, using old test reports is not a shortcut and can result in a forced recall.
This happened to a Swedish customer I was dealing with a few years ago.
They had been importing toys from a wholesaler based in Shantou, China, and relied on outdated test reports valid for completely different factories and products – assuming those test reports were even valid, to begin with.
One day, the local market surveillance authorities knocked on their door and asked to see their EN 71 test reports. They quickly issued a recall order on their entire stock.
I never heard from them again, and I think you can figure out why.
That said, we still take the supplier held EN 71 test reports into consideration when assessing if a supplier has the capability to make EN 71 compliant products.
How do I know if a supplier is EN 71 certified?
EN 71 test reports are only valid for a specific product and material specification. An EN 71 test report is not applicable to a factory as a whole, in the sense that it certifies that all their products are by default EN 71 compliant.
Further, there is no such thing as an ‘EN 71 factory certificate’ either.
EN 71 lab testing costs
EN 71 testing costs are calculated based on the number of materials, applicable EN 71 parts, colors, and components. Each component and material must be tested, meaning that more complex products are more expensive to test.
- Baby romper: $500
- Teddy bear: $700
- RC Toy: $1500
- Wooden Toy Train Set (15 Parts): $1900
- Trampoline: $2500
List of EN 71 toy safety testing companies
Here are some reliable companies offering EN 71 testing services:
- Bureau Veritas