EU to sign toy safety pact with industry

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Toy retailers and importers will sign a pact with the European Commission on Thursday aimed at improving toy safety, the EU executive said.

“The agreement with toy importers and retailers is a very positive sign of the industry’s commitment to toy safety, and should help to further reinforce the system that has been put in place to ensure the safety of all toys sold in the EU,” EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said.

More than 20 million Chinese-made toys were recalled worldwide in 2007 due to unsafe features such as excessive levels of lead paint, prompting the 27-country European Union and the United States to crack down on unsafe products.

The pact will be signed with Toy Traders of Europe, EuroCommerce, the European Retail Round Table and the European Promotional Products Association.

The signatories agree to improve toy safety such as by providing education and training on standards, with a focus on the lower end of the market, where most non-compliant toys are found, the EU executive said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Clear safety guidelines will be developed for use throughout the industry, to outline the systems and procedures that can be put in place to ensure that products meet the required standards,” the statement said.

A similar agreement was signed earlier this year with Toy Industries of Europe, the EU executive said. (Reporting by Ingrid Melander, editing by Dale Hudson)