Consumer watchdog seizes and destroys over 51,000 toys

Soft toys, teddy bears, battery-operated dogs among potentially unsafe products

The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission  urged greater public awareness in the run up to Christmas, particularly given a major move toward online shopping as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Competition & Consumer Protection Commission

The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission urged greater public awareness in the run up to Christmas, particularly given a major move toward online shopping as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Competition & Consumer Protection Commission

 

Ireland’s consumer watchdog has seized and destroyed over 51,000 toys and has appealed to people to make sure what they are buying is safe.

On Monday, the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) urged greater public awareness in the run up to Christmas, particularly given a major move toward online shopping as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said that with the assistance of the Revenue Customs Service it had examined a number of toy consignments over several years from different importers, which included a total of 51,392 potentially unsafe products.

Among them were soft toys and teddy bears, toy guns, inflatable toys with small parts and battery operated dogs.

Following its investigations, the CCPC found they did not meet relevant EU and Irish safety standards and regulations, the very guarantees the public are now being urged to look for.

“The risks ranged from potential choke hazards to chemical issues and contravened several toy safety regulations,” it said.

Under the European Communities (Safety of Toys) Regulations 2011, it was able to dispose of the products.

CE mark

As Christmas shopping gets underway, consumers are reminded to check for the CE mark which shows a product meets EU safety standards.

“With more consumers doing some, or all, of their Christmas shopping online this year, the CCPC is highlighting the risks posed to consumers by poor quality, unsafe or non-compliant products,” it said.

“Products which do not meet safety standards can be dangerous, particularly when it comes to children’s toys or gifts.”

As a reliable approach to shopping, people are advised to buy from well known retailers; to check toys for detachable parts smaller than a €2 coin which can be choke hazards; to check the age range of the toy for suitability; and to look for sharp edges, long chords or cables which are also dangerous for smaller children.