China’s toy imports make up more than half the toy market in the EU, and apparently their lax safety record hasn’t escaped the grim, existential gaze of Europe. Meglena Kuneva, an EU commissioner, put it quite bluntly in front of the EU’s internal market and consumer protection committee last week: “This is the last warning. If there’s an unsatisfactory report in October we will [impose] the next layer of measures. Among them is a ban on products,” which the Associated Press reports could include toys.
Although all the recent bad news from the US has created a high level of scrutiny in the press (maybe we should post something about it!), the EU says that it was well aware of China’s “issues” before the Mattel fiasco. Sniffs a commission spokesperson, “The Mattel recalls are not a wake-up call … we’re already awake.”
China has to deliver a report to the EU in October that will respond satisfactorily to their safety concerns. The country has already delivered three previous reports, but they weren’t well received. Kuneva says the upcoming report will be “a test case for our cooperation,” and that “Cooperation will be built on clear reporting, increased technical cooperation and effective enforcement.” Wow, it this what it sounds like when a toy industry lobbyist isn’t in the room?
“EU Could Ban Unsafe Chinese Products [Business Week]