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Fit to spin?

Mark R Oliver, trading standards business hub manager, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards explains regulations on spinners.

Following reports of both children and adults being injured either through misuse or choking on small parts, the BPMA is looking to highlight the potential issues of the current fidget spinner craze and steps that can be taken to ensure you only buy compliant products.

Fidget spinners were originally not intended to be toys and were only available through specialised sales platforms. However, having identified the potential these original spinners have now been copied and marketed for general use.

They are tactile, brightly coloured, and may feature LED lights. Expert opinion has confirmed that due to their appearance and intended use, the spinners will be attractive to children and therefore considered an item of play. As a result, they are required to comply with the Toy Safety Regulations.

The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 set out the legal requirements for the safety of new toys supplied by a business. ‘Toys’ are defined as a ‘product designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old’.

All new toys supplied in the course of a business must be marked with:

  • The name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is located outside of the EU, the name and address of the manufacturer and the importer.
  • The type, batch, serial or model number
  • The CE mark (a declaration by the manufacturer that the toy is safe).

Market surveillance suggests very few products currently available meet the requirements of the Toy Safety Regulations 2011 and businesses run the risk of stock being detained at import or if within the UK to having a compliance notice issued under regulation 52 of The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 which prohibits sales until the product is compliant. Further non-compliance can result in the action taken escalating.

The main areas of concern are proper labelling, chemical levels and a small parts age restriction warning, so speak to your supplier and ensure your orders are compliant. In addition some spinners now feature well-known children’s characters and may be in breach of Trade Marks legislation if not authorised or licensed.

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