Many crafters still appear to be unaware that all toys offered for sale within the UK and EU must be CE marked. Many handmade toys offered for sale online and at craft fairs do not state whether they have passed the required tests. Toys must bear this mark either on an attached label or, if this isn’t possible, on their swing tags. It is illegal to sell toys that don’t and large fines or even prison sentences can be imposed.
The current testing standard is EN71 parts 1,2 and 3.
Part 1 covers physical tests – these ensure the toy is strong enough to withstand play and contains no parts that could become detached and pose a threat of being swallowed etc.
The specific requirements for physical testing vary depending on the toy type – for example wooden toys, fancy dress, and soft toys each require different physical tests.
Part 2 is concerned with flammability. This requires a completed toy to be lit and the rate of burn measured. To pass the test it must burn slowly (if at all) giving the child time to drop it before being burned.
Part 3 demands chemical testing in a lab to ensure all the materials used which are accessible to the child do not contain more than permitted amounts of various chemicals.
Toy makers can conduct tests for parts 1 and 2 themselves by following detailed instructions and documenting the outcome. Part 3 tests can only be done in a lab.
After a toy prototype passes the tests the maker has to create a file for each toy variation detailing everything about its manufacture and ensuring a toy can be traced at a later date if a recall should prove necessary.
Laboratory testing is costly. This has to be factored into the final cost of the toy which is why some can seem expensive. A manufacturer of large quantities can absorb this cost making it unnoticeable but a small toymaker often can’t.
Some organisations offer test results of certain materials to members. Some manufacturers of fabric and yarn provide the required certificates themselves.
CE marking can be daunting at first but once you get the hang of it it’s not so bad. Far better than the alternatives when you get caught for not doing it or, worse, causing harm to a child.
Much basic information can be found here https://www.cemarking-handmadetoys.co.uk/ce-marking-toys-beginners-what-you-need-to-know/