Toy Safety must remain a focus for the EU

Toy Safety must remain a focus for the EU
Recall and Safety Notification data shows that toys are the products most frequently deemed unsafe

London, UK – 20 November 2014 – The toy industry continues to lead all consumer goods in terms of volume of product recalls and safety notifications, according to the latest Stericycle European Recall and Notification Index. It identified toys and children’s clothing as two key areas with safety records lagging behind other industries, largely because of the impact from recent EU legislation.

Overall, consumer notifications held steady in terms of volume from Q2 to Q3 2014 – and in fact they dropped from the same period last year. However, the position of the toy industry as the worst offender in that group has been cemented. The increase in scrutiny as a result of consistent updates and amends to the EU Toys Directive is making it harder for companies to comply. Add to this the influx of manufacturing contracts migrating from the Far East and the seasonal demands on the toy industry plus the pressure on manufacturers mounts significantly.

Farzad Henareh, European Managing Director, Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, commented: “The toy manufacturers of Europe are in a difficult spot, they must comply with a wide range of regulations, while also facing mounting external pressures from elsewhere. The figures highlight the extent of this problem, but really the question is how to fix it. Companies can experience high levels of brand damage by going through a recall or safety notification, especially in relation to children’s goods. Avoiding the recall entirely is the preferred solution, but if it has to happen, doing it quickly and efficiently is crucial.”

The total number of recalls and safety notifications across all industries in Europe actually fell, both in year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter terms in Q3. Down seven per cent from Q2 and down nine per cent from this period last year. A summer slump in production explains some of the decline from earlier this year. The decline from this time last year is more likely due to familiarity with successful means of manufacturing, as well as companies maturing and becoming more accustomed to regulations.

Farzad Henareh continued: “Manufacturers are getting better at complying with relevant regulations, we can see that in the decline in recalls and notifications. The fact that these rules are updated regularly and are liable to constant change means that companies need to always be recall ready.”

The Stericycle Q3 2014 European Recall and Notification Index is available for download here