I love reading other peoples blogs.
Why? Well you get a chance to see what other businesses blog about.
You learn something new, and reading and commenting on other blogs helps you to develop new readers on your blog.
I have recently read a few interesting pieces that the writers of have kindly agreed that I can use.
Erica, from Odds & Soxlets has kindly let me repost her piece about handmade toys CE marking for safety. It’s such important information and many mummies at home making toys and selling them on via Facebook and fairs just don’t realise that they must be CE marked and tested. Don’t forget to leave Erica a comment or give us some feedback about how easy/hard you found the CE process.
The law regarding children’s toys and CE marking changed back in July 2011 and the new Toy Safety Directive 2011 came into force. This meant that all products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under the age of 14 are required by law to have a CE logo.
This includes handmade products that also look like toys even if you have specified they are are for decorative purposes and not suitable for those under the age of 14 years. The only exception to this is Christmas/novelty products which you can find out more about from Trading Standards.
I have put together a variety of information and links together regarding this subject for any fellow artisans who make knitted / crocheted / felt or other fabric style toys (including sock toys) on how to obtain a CE logo for there products.
Firstly you need to research the New Safety Directive 2011 and find out how this affects you and what handmade products you produce, Business Link and BSI are a very useful resource for finding out the basics.
The most obtainable way for handmade toys to gain CE marking is to self certify your products. This is the least expensive way and I would recommend a company called Conformance, they currently do two packs which I believe to be very useful and ensures you are following the correct route to self certification.
They have recently added a pack ‘CE marking for knitted toys’ which is specifically designed to help home toy-makers to meet the legal requirements of the Toy Safety Directive. It gives you all the information you will need to be able to test your toys and gives details on the documents you need to produce and keep. Even thought the pack is designed for those making knitted toys, it can also be used for simple felt or fabric toys too! You can also download the CE logo from them to add to your products.
There is a great deal of paperwork involved in self certification as each and every component of your product plus the final product itself needs to comply with the EN71 European Standard for Safety of Toys. Depending upon your product you may wish to use a 3rd party company to test either components or the full product and then each and every toy will require a Technical File and Declaration of Conformity to show that your toys reaches the appropriate standards and is safe for children.
You will then be able to add the CE logo to either a sewn in label on your handmade product or a tag style label around your product which ever if more suitable. The design and information of this label is also very important. This will cover any products you offer for sale in the UK and Europe ONLY! If you want to sell your products worldwide then you must check out the laws on toys for those countries too!
You will have to ensure that all of the fabrics/stuffing etc you use to make your toys have either already been tested to meet the EN71 or you will be required to get them tested yourself. If you contact the manufacturer of your products they will be able to tell you this information. With socks in particular as they are a clothing garment they are not required by law to have been tested to these guidelines so you will have to either test the socks yourself or look at getting a 3rd party testing facility to do this for you like Conformance. There are many companies out there which offer advice and services in regards to CE Marking so it is best to do your own research and choose a company that can offer you the best for your money.
Some other links which may also be useful:
Please note: This blog post is intended to help other artisans find out further information regarding CE Marking in regards to there own products and ‘Odds & Soxlets’ takes no legal responsibility for the content.
For more information on running a craft based business check out Joanne’s book – Crafting a Successful Small Business: Making, marketing and merchandising