Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Launches Supervision of Toys Market

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development launches surveillance of toys market – at the meeting, the Government of Georgia has approved the Technical Regulation on Toy Safety prepared in accordance with the EU Directive, which applies to toys for children under 14.

The Technical Regulation provides for assessment and documentation of product conformity with the safety requirements of the toys prior to placing them on the market, which confirms the toys’ compliance with safety requirements (including chemical composition and physical features of a toy – how sharp and small it is, etc.). The representatives of the new agency – Market Surveillance Agency – established under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia – will oversee toys throughout Georgia. They will inspect the compliance of toys with the established requirements and issue recommendations, the implementation of which will be mandatory from 2021. 

The toys placed at the Georgian market will be supervised through documentary, as well as visual and laboratory check. During the documentary checks, the seller will be required to provide a unique identification number of the toy; the manufacturer’s name, trade mark, name and address; guidelines on the standards to be met; description of the assessment body (third party) involved in the quality control process while manufacturing the product; instructions for protecting safety while using/playing with toys; technical documentation: (the list of materials, systematic quality control inspection and test results); traceability information; warning instructions and signs.

In addition to the documentary checks, based on the information obtained or risk analysis, the Market Surveillance Agency will also perform visual and laboratory expertise. 

It should also be noted that the absence of relevant laboratories needed for mechanical and chemical testing of toys remains a significant challenge in Georgia. The Agency will have to send the samples to foreign accredited laboratories.

In case of breach of security requirements, enforcement measures will be taken, the severity of which depends on the extent of the potential hazard caused by the discrepancy found and involves various sanctions, including the indications, suspension of sale, product recall and withdrawal, as well as its destruction, if the toy contains dangerous chemical impurities.

As for the secondary toys marketed, in spite of the fact that they are considered high-quality products by a large part of society, such toys must have the necessary documentation – declaration of conformity, laboratory test results or other documents – without which it is impossible to verify the safety of the toy. Accordingly, if the secondary toys imported into Georgia are accompanied by appropriate documentation, their placement on the market and sale will not be restricted. It should also be noted that no exemptions to the secondary toys are allowed in the EU market either – the Toy Safety Directive establishes common requirements for all types of toys. On the basis of the risk analysis, laboratory check of imported toys may also take place in the customs control zone, but only in case of reasonably questionable products.

Considering the consultations held with the private sector officials, the business has been given a one-year grace period to prepare for the regulations. Consequently, the sanctions will not work within one year until 2021 – the companies will only be given recommendations for correcting violations, the performance of which will be verified by the surveillance agency after some time.

The Market Surveillance Agency will oversee the products during their import and placement on the market. In addition to removing and destroying products from the market, monetary sanctions will also be imposed on the violations, but this will also come into force from 2021.

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