EN 71-3:2013 Published in the UK

The long awaited EN 71-3:2013 has been published in the UK by BSI; supporting the new chemical requirements of the EU Toys Safety Directive, which take effect from 20 July 2013.  The main changes and issues are as follows:

  • Toy materials are now divided into three categories, as follows, based on their type, which determines the extent to which they may be ingested by the child.  (See Table 1 overleaf.)
  • Category I - Dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable materials
  • Category II - Liquid or sticky materials
  • Category III - Scraped-off materials
  • Testing now includes 19 elements (or rather 17 different elements, with chromium (III) and (VI), along with both tin and organic tin counted twice).

The original 8 elements are retained (chromium, now being split as the two oxidation states above), along with another 9 different elements.

  • Migration limits have been revised, with many reduced (see Table 2 overleaf).
  • Barium migration limits have been reduced further from those in the Directive (with another reduction in the lead limits expected in due course).
  • The migration limits for chromium (VI) in Categories I and II toy materials are too low to be measured directly by the new EN 71-3 method.  Hence other means will have to be used to demonstrate compliance.
  • The large analytical correction factor applied has been deleted.

Under the previous version, only the adjusted analytical result was used to verify compliance.  That is, for a toy material to be deemed non-compliant, the analytical result had to exceed the migration limit by such a considerable margin that it still exceeded the migration limit after subtraction of the analytical correction factor (which was 30 %, 50 % or 60 %, per each element).

  • Laboratories now have to determine their measurement uncertainty and use it to interpret whether their analytical result shows compliance with the migration limit.

The margin by which the analytical result could now "exceed" the migration limit before its deemed non-compliant will be drastically reduced.  That is, assuming that a lab's measurement uncertainty is significantly lower than the former 30 % to 60 % analytical correction factor.

For details about Intertek's solutions to these new challenges and the broader implications when EN 71-3 is commonly applied to non-toy products too, please download our free White Paper: Understanding EN71-3 New Chemical Migration Limits in Toys and Childcare Items

For further information, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 116 296 1620