Why do our Dinosaur Toys now have a UKCA mark on them?

Have you noticed a new symbol appearing on our dinosaur toys and our organic toys and organic comforters? The familiar CE mark has been replaced with a new symbol, UKCA. It's not just our dinosaur teddies obviously, it is all toys and products which are to be sold in Great Britain.

Toy legislation has always evolved and adapted as we find new knowledge about toy safety, new materials come on to the market, and new concerns are raised and addressed.

From 1993 it was a requirement for toys to be marked with the CE mark. This showed that the toy had been manufactured and tested to conform to toy safety requirements set down by the EU.

In 2007 there was a huge issue after Mattel and other toy makers were forced to recall toys which included small magnets. It transpired that the way the toys had been designed made an issue likely to happen so in 2008 the legislation was expanded for toys to be designed, manufactured and tested to CE.

Along with this change came the requirement to know where all components of the toy come from and to ensure that the components all are tested rather than just the finished toy. So our dinosaur toys and dinosaur teddies are tested when manufactured but the knitted material and stuffing are all tested as well.

It’s a huge amount of paperwork and one which heralded a change from test certificate to certificate of conformity as a way of denoting the product conformed to requirement.

In January 2021, after the UK left the EU, Great Britain initiated its own symbol, the UKCA mark which replaced the CE mark. UKCA stands for UK Conformity Assessed.

This replaced the CE Mark for all goods entering the market in Great Britain from January 2021. Our dinosaur toys, and any of our other toys which were already in the warehouse when the new rules came into effect were still able to be sold under the old rules with just the CE mark, but toys made after this date had to have a UKCA mark.  Along with this new mark was the requirement to have a UK address on the label.

However from January 2023 it is now law that all products must show the UKCA mark.

CE marking is still obligatory for the toys we sell in the EU as they must still adhere to EU specifications and require the affixing of CE marking. This means that our dinosaur toys will carry both the CE and UKCA markings to show they are fully compliant with both EU directives and UK regulations.

So far none of the toy safety legislation has changed but the UKCA mark is here to show that our dinosaur toys and dinosaur teddies specifically conform to UK requirements.
At the moment all toy safety rules are identical to European requirements but it is more than likely that they will diverge in the future. The Toy Safety Directive, which is the main toy safety legislation we currently use, may have changes proposed in 2024 which would come in to force in 2026.

As with CE marking, the conformity assessment schemes remain largely the same, and for toys that do not specifically require an approved body, a self-declaration of conformity is still accepted. UK Approved Bodies have replaced EU Notified Bodies for testing certification.

Please note. Northern Ireland has different labelling requirements due to its unique position.
And to make things more complicated some larger retailers have insisted on their own formatting of labels which is why you may see some internationally popular toys with lots of different labels.

Who knew labels could be so complex!

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