Georgia’s Ministry of Economy to Supervise Toy Sales

Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development will begin the supervision and monitoring of toys on the market.

The information was released by the ministry and reads that the Government of Georgia adopted a technical regulation on toy safety prepared in accordance with the European Union Directive, which applies to toys for children under 14.

"The technical regulation envisages the assessment of product conformity and documentation before a toy is placed on the market, confirming compliance with the safety requirements of the toy, including both the chemical composition and physical characteristics of the product,” the statement reads.

The ministry says that the monitoring of toys throughout Georgia will be carried out by representatives of the new agency created by the Ministry of Economy - the Market Supervision Agency, who will check the conformity of the toys placed on the Georgian market with the established requirements and issue recommendations which will be mandatory from 2021.

The agency will also check the toys on the market in terms of documents, and visual and laboratory testing will be carried out.

During the documentary check, the seller will be required to provide a unique identification number for the toy, the manufacturer's name, trade mark and name and address, guidelines, proof that it meets safety standards and a description of the toy. The product should also have instructions for usage, safety rules and technical documentation, including the list of materials it is made of.

The ministry also stressed that the absence of relevant laboratories for mechanical and chemical inspection of toys remains a significant challenge in Georgia, adding the supervisory agency will have to send samples of toys to foreign accredited laboratories.

Should safety violations be found on the market, various enforcement measures will be implemented, depending on the severity of the potential threat caused by the mismatch of the product with the standards. Particular fines will be given for different violations, but if the toy contains dangerous chemicals mixtures, it will be immediately removed from the shelves.

Second-hand toys, although widely regarded as high-quality products among the general public, must also necessarily have documentation – a certificate of conformity, laboratory test results or other documents, without which it is impossible to verify the safety of the toy.

“Laboratory testing of imported toys, based on risk analysis, may also be carried out in the customs control zone, but only on those products where there is reasonable suspicion,” the ministry noted.

Businesses have been given a one-year period to prepare for the regulations. Consequently, sanctions will not apply until 2021. Companies will only be given recommendations to eliminate violations, which the supervisory authority will verify after monitoring.

Deputy Minister of Economy Genadi Arveladze says that the technical regulations prepared by the Ministry of Economy are in full compliance with the EU directive, which ensures the safety of toys, set standards and technical requirements regarding the characteristics of both the physical and chemical composition of toys.

“We have been working on the toy safety regulations for years. This was, on one hand, requested by the public because there was no toy control system, and on the other, we fulfilled our commitment to the EU within the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement. EU experts were involved in the preparation of this regulation, after which we had meetings with private sector representatives in the regions and Tbilisi, "he said.

The Deputy Minister says that supervision specialists have been prepared to carry out proper monitoring of the toys on the Georgian market.

He added that at first, as there is no special lab to test the toys in Georgia, the agency will have to send the product samples to European countries, where there are accredited laboratories.

“As there was no prior regulation on toys in Georgia, there was no demand for a special lab, so as soon as the demand increases, we hope the private sector will become interested and we will establish a laboratory here,” he said.

By Tea Mariamidze

Image source: 1TV

27 January 2020 18:53