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TTBS Announces 60-Day Moratorium on Toys

Submitted by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS)

Children are vulnerable members of society and toys containing high levels of hazardous chemicals can potentially pose a risk to them.

To mitigate such risks, stakeholders from the childrenā€™s toy industry were formally advised of a moratorium period of sixty (60) days for the enforcement of theĀ National Compulsory Standard: TTCS 3:2020, Safety of Toys ā€“ Compulsory Requirements. Ā Ā The moratorium commenced on theĀ 7th July 2021 and concludes on the 5th September, 2021.Ā Ā Enforcement will commence on the 6th September, 2021.Ā 

The announcement for the moratorium period was made by Mr. Gerard Maxwell, Manager, Implementation Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), during a virtual National Stakeholder Meeting held on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. The stakeholders included manufacturers, importers, distributors (wholesalers and retailers) regulators and consumer protection agencies. The objective of the meeting was to disseminate information related to the requirements of the standard, as well as provide details on TTBSā€™ enforcement regime. 

The standard was declared compulsory by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and came into effect on the 31st March 2021.  The standard establishes compulsory requirements for the following elements and chemicals used in the manufacture of childrenā€™s toys including: antimony, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, phthalates and selenium contained within new toys and also toys categorized as seconds, reconditioned and refurbished. The Standard also indicates the labelling requirements for all toys and prohibits the importation, donation and sale of used toys in Trinidad and Tobago.

The requirements apply to the following toys, components of toys and toy materials:

File photo (by monstera from pexels)
  • all intended food and oral contact toys, cosmetics toys and writing instruments categorized as toys irrespective of any age grading or recommended age labelling;
  • all toys intended for or suitable for children up to seventy-two months of age;
  • accessible coatings, irrespective of any age grading or recommended age labelling; and
  • accessible liquids, pastes, gels (e.g. liquid paints and modelling compounds), irrespective of any age, grading or recommended age labelling.

This standard does not apply to packaging materials unless they are intended to be kept e.g. boxes, containers or unless they form part of the toy or have intended play value.

Enforcement of the Standard is intended to:

  • protect children against danger to their health or safety,
  • empower consumers and
  • reduce the cross-border trade of used childrenā€™s toys.

The toy inspection process will include label assessment to the requirements of TTCS 3:2020.Ā  The lab analysis of the toy sample will be conducted by the Laboratory Services Division which is the testing arm of TTBS. The lab utilizes state-of-the-art instrumentation to perform its analyses and follows the international Standard, ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories from which it has obtained accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

Once the test results meet the requirements of the Compulsory National Standard, the toys will be released for distribution. Non-conforming toys will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. TTBS may accept certificates from other sources, such as third-party testing and product certification from accredited bodies. If an accredited body is unavailable, samples may be submitted to a laboratory designated by TTBS, subject to the Standards Act No. 18 of 1997, to demonstrate compliance to the standard.

TTBS Executive Director, Mr. Derek Luk Pat

During the meeting Mr. Derek Luk Pat, Executive Director TTBS, underscored the important collaborative role all entities have to play in protecting one the most vulnerable groups in society.Ā  He said, ā€œTTBS is taking a proactive step to protect our children from the potential risks of hazardous compounds that are commonly found in toys. As Good Regulatory Practice dictates, TTBS consulted stakeholders during the review process to solicit comments from the industry. TTBS appreciates the cooperation it received from the industry during its survey exercise on the standard and we thank these key stakeholders for the donation of toys for testing purposes. TTBS will continue to maintain its collaborative approach to ensure the products that are available on the local market are safe for use by the citizens and conform to minimum requirements outlined in compulsory standardsā€.

The enforcement of compulsory standards is part of TTBSā€™ Strategic Plan, and is aligned to TTBSā€™ mandate under the Standards Act No. 18 of 1997 as the National Standards Body.  Against this backdrop, TTBS is committed to improving competitiveness and promoting sustainable development through the formulation, promotion, and application of standards and conformity assessment activities.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Carla Smith

Standard Officer III

Implementation Division,

Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards

Tel:  662-8827 Ext: 2427

Email: carla.smith@ttbs.org.tt

To download a copy of the compulsory standard please use the link below: Website: https://gottbs.com/product/ttcs-32020-safety-of-toys-compulsory-requirements/