Decree Law No. 43/2011
- Issuer: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development
- Diploma Type: Decree Law
- Number: 43/2011
- Pages: 1643 - 1662
Summary in plain english
What is it?
This decree-law introduces into the Portuguese law the European directive 2009/48/EC about the safety of toys available on the European market.
What will change?
Broader definition of toy
A 'toy' is now any product designed or intended for use in play by children under the age of 14, even if it has other purposes.
However, these rules do not apply to certain products which may also be used for playing (toy steam engines, automatic playing machines intended for public use, slings and catapults, toys for collectors, personal computers, etc.).
Safety terms updated
Toys must not endanger the health and safety of their users. They must be age‑appropriate and have information about their potential risks and ways to avoid them.
This decree-law updates the rules with which toys and their packaging must comply to minimize the risk of:
- strangulation, asphyxiation, burns, crushing, falling, drowning, etc.
- infection, sickness or contamination
- other health hazards, due, for instance, to chemical substances that cause allergies
- electric shock, fire or explosion
- excessive levels of radiation.
More information for consumers
Toys must have clear, visible warnings in Portuguese, stating:
- for whom they are intended (minimum and maximum age, weight, etc.)
- if the toy is meant to be used only under adult supervision.
Some kinds of toys – for instance, the ones intended for children under 3 years or aquatic toys – must have specific safety warnings.
New rules for toys in food packages
Toys that are offered or sold with food must have:
- their own packaging, which cannot be swallowed or inhaled through the nose
- a warning on the food package stating that there is a toy or a prize inside and that adult supervision is recommended.
Responsibilities of manufacturers, importers and distributors
Toys can only be sold in Europe if they have the CE marking – a label that ensures a manufacturer's product complies with European standards and laws and does not endanger the health and safety of its users.
To do so, the manufacturer must:
- assess or have assessed the toy’s safety
- make a 'declaration of conformity' which confirms that the toy complies with safety rules
- place the CE marking on each toy produced.
Importers and distributers must check:
- if the safety evaluation has been made
- if the toy has the CE marking and all the necessary documents
- if the toy is properly identified (for instance, with the batch, serial or model number) and identifies the manufacturer and the importer.
Importers must also:
- ensure that the toy has safety information and instructions written in Portuguese
- carry out sample testing when considered appropriate due to risks the toy may present.
Manufacturers, importers and distributors that do not comply with these rules may have to pay fines of:
- 1,000 to 3,740.98 euros, if they are individuals
- 3,000 to 44,891.81 euros, if they are companies.
If a toy, even with the CE marking, endangers the safety of its users, the Authority for Economic and Food Safety may prohibit its sale and recall the toys already being used.
What are its benefits?
This decree-law is intended to:
- improve and update the safety rules for toys
- protect the health and safety of consumers, especially children.
When does it come into effect?
This decree-law comes into effect on 20 July 2011.
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