Since online platforms have emerged as viable and cost-effective alternatives to physical marketing and sales, toy companies are increasingly selling their products through e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Bol.com, and eBay.
The coronavirus has only accelerated the growth of these online sales, which couldn’t have been possible without a robust e-commerce system enabling consumers to move away from offline retail stores, supermarkets in favor of online toys e-stores.
Study finds unsafe items for sale at online marketplaces
Over 97 percent of tested toys were illegal in Europe, headlines Politico on June 17, 2020.
According to a study out Wednesday by the trade association Toy Industries of Europe (TIE), a whopping 97 percent of 193 toys bought through those online marketplaces did not meet the EU’s toy safety rules, and 76 percent of safety-tested toys were outright dangerous. The study, conducted in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, found bath toys containing dangerous chemicals, teddy bears with sharp metal, and rattles with small detachable parts widely available online. In most cases it was also impossible to hold anyone accountable; 83 percent of toys bought did not have information on sellers.
Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) therefore recommends that EU policy makers specify that online marketplaces are importers or distributors of toys – and set similar responsibilities for them.
There are clear responsibilities for importers and distributors in EU and national legislation. This can be done through the revision of the Blue Guide on EU Product Rules and the Guidelines for Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products.