Hong Kong amends Juvenile & Toy Safety Standards

Effective from April 1, 2012, Hong Kong has recently updated two toy safety standards and realigns the standards to reflect changes to European, Australia/New Zealand and United States standards for eight children’s product categories.

The government of Hong Kong published the Toys and Children’s Product Safety Ordinance (Amendment of Schedules 1 and 2) Notice 2011 in its gazette on December 30, 2011 as. This notice updates two safety standards for toys and some of the standards for eight types of children’s products.

This amends chapter 424 of the Laws of Hong Kong by providing an update to the Toys and Children’s Product Safety Ordinance and Regulations. According to product type, the Hong Kong regulations (www.hklii.hk/eng/hk/legis/reg/) specify that toys and children’s products for domestic use should comply with one of several major international toy safety standards. These include British standards enacting European norms (BS EN), American international standards (ASTM); Australia/New Zealand harmonized joint standards (AS/NZS) as well as standards of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Toys represent a wider category and various types of toy fall under a mixture of ISO and BS EN standards. A similar situation exists for playpens, where ASTM and BS EN standards are employed. The types of children’s products that are regulated purely referring to ASTM standards include baby walking frames, cots, high chairs and child safety barriers. Those regulated by AS/NZS standards are confined to bunk beds, while children’s paints are regulated by ISO.

The changes generally align existing Hong Kong regulations to the latest revisions of the referenced standards. As examples of realignments, bunk beds for domestic use are amended from AS/NZS 4220:2003 to AS/NZS 4220:2010 and children’s paint from ISO 8124-3:1997 to ISO 8124-3:2010.

For the local market, Hong Kong requires of products that need consumer warnings to have labels and instructions written in both English and Chinese.