§ Mr. Alex Carlile
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to secure the safety of toys to be made available for sale during the pre-Christmas shopping period, and in particular to ensure that in future all toys sold within the United Kingdom should conform with BS 5665; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maude
My Department plans to run a toy safety promotion campaign in November and December aimed at putting across an effective message during the Christmas peak buying period.
The Government have no plans to make compliance with BS 5665 mandatory. We are effectively prevented from doing so under the standstill provisions of article 9(2) of the EC directive 83/189/EEC because a proposal for an EC toy safety directive is now in the final stages of negotiation.
Toys supplied in the United Kingdom must comply with the requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1974, which cover the main hazards. The general safety requirement of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 applies to hazards not covered by the regulations. As a published standard BS 5665 is relevant for the purpose of the general safety requirement.