EU – Toys Update

Finger Paints – Draft Revision to EN 71-7

The European finger paints safety standard EN 71-7 is being revised to provide particular requirements for finger paints in support of the new Toys Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.  The public draft includes many changes to EN 71-7, of which the main ones are as follows.  Please note, this draft may be subject to further changes prior to publication of the final text.

  • Aniline added to the list of restricted primary aromatic amines.
  • Limits for the migration of certain elements have been removed, and are now cross-referenced to the revised prEN 71-3 (see Sparkle Volume 652).
  • Limits added for the impurities polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) of 2 mg/kg and hexachlorobenzene of 5 mg/kg for finger paints containing colourant products containing chlorine or manufactured in chlorinated solvents.
  • Limit added for the impurity benzo(a)pyrene of 0.02 mg/kg for finger paints containing carbon black.
  • New test method added for the determination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene and benzo(a)pyrene.
  • Sucrose octaacetate has been deleted from the list of permitted embittering agents.
  • Colourants - purity requirements added for many colourants commonly used in finger paints.
  • Preservatives – the list of permitted preservatives that shall be has been amended and cut to 16 preservatives (previously 37 preservatives were permitted)
  • Colourants, binding agents, extenders, humectants and surfactants – ban on substances within certain hazard classes is now based the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 classifications, updating the former DSD-based criteria.
  • Permitted pH value range extended to between 4.0 and 10.0 (was between 4 and 9), to accommodate the use of calcium carbonate and dilution of the finger paint with tap water.
  • Azocolourants test method now only cites HPLC/DAD and capillary GC/MS (TLC, HPTLC and capillary GC/FID have all been deleted, but would have been less common methods).
  • N-nitrosamines have been added, cross-referencing the new requirements on prEN 71-12.
  • Containers food imitations requirement clarified and more closely aligned with the EU Food Imitations Directive 87/357/EEC.  However, prEN 71-7 is more stringent than the EU Food Imitations Directive, as the finger paint container would fail these requirements merely on grounds of confusion alone, even if no risk is otherwise posed as a consequence of the confusion.
  • Container markings – a telephone number now has to be included with the name and address.

EU Commission Guidance Documents

The EU Commission has revised its range of Guidance Documents for the Toys Safety Directive (TSD) 2009/48/EC (Rev 1.6) and TSD Technical Documentation (Rev 1.2), and added guidance for disguise costumes too; the main points of which are below.

Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC - An explanatory guidance document (Rev 1.6)

  • Section 3.8.1 – Article 17 Rules and conditions for the affixing of the CE marking – Article 17(1)

The rationale has been added that affixing the CE marking to the packaging is to enable market surveillance authorities to verify that the presence of the CE marking without having to open the packaging.  Also, it is recommended that toys sold online are displayed to make the CE marking visible.

  • Section 16 Explanation I Obligations of Economic Operators

Editorial change, duplicated text deleted.

This document can be downloaded from the Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry Toys website at:

Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC - Technical Documentation (Rev 1.2)

  • Section – Characterisation – substance characterisation

Where available, a harmonised hazard classification shall be used to characterise a substance as part of the chemical safety assessment process.  Self-classifications should only be considered for those relevant aspects not covered by the harmonised classification.  Care should be taken where different classifications are available for the same substance, which may have arisen from the presence of impurities or other reasons.

This document can be downloaded from the Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry Toys website at:

Commission Guidance Document No 17 – Carnival costumes (disguise costumes, fancy dress)

Disguise costumes/dress-up intended for children between 1 and 14 years are typically used in play and are thereby treated as toys (being designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play).

Products age labelled only for children under 1 year of age (e.g. 0-1 year) are not considered to be toys as such very young children are too young to understand how they are dressed and draw play value from the product; as such they fall outside the definition of a toy.  Similarly products age labelled or sized only for persons over 14 years of age and adults also fall outside the scope of the Directive.

This document can be downloaded from the Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry Toys website at:

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