The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has given suppliers and manufacturers until after the Chinese New Year holidays to dispose toys that have not obtained the government-approved safety logo.
The enforcement of the mandatory logo on all toys began on Aug 1 last year. The toy or its packaging has to be marked with the logo and registration number issued by the ministry. The size of the logo should be at least 5mm by 5mm.
All new toys, whether imported or manufactured locally, are required to be checked. Suppliers of toys already in the market were given six months to dispose them.
Manufacturers or traders who contravene the logo requirement will be penalised. A corporate body may be fined up to RM500,000, and an individual up to RM250,000, upon conviction.
The ministry announced the safety rules in 2008 and notified the World Trade Organisation on Nov 6, the same year, of the change.
The execution of the safety regulations was done in stages after taking into account the time needed for manufacturers and suppliers to obtain test results for new products and those already in the market, testing costs by foreign laboratories, as well as the ability and readiness of local laboratories to undertake specific tests.
All manufacturers, importers and toy packers were required to register all business activity related to children’s toys from Aug 1 last year. They also had to declare to the ministry the toys being manufactured, imported or sold locally were safe.
The enforcement of the safety logo is a ministry initiative to ensure safety for end users.
While local statistics are lacking, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission said in its latest report the number of toy-related incidents remained staggering in America despite efforts to improve safety standards.