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Parliamentary questions
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7 October 2015
E-010108/2015(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-010108/2015

The Commission is aware of the tragic case which the Honourable Member refers to.

Fancy dress costumes for use in play by children under 14 are covered by the Toy Safety Directive(1) which requires toys not to be a dangerous flammable element in the child's environment and lays down conditions that toy materials must fulfil(2). The corresponding standard EN 71-2 includes a specific clause on toy disguise costumes. It is unclear at this stage whether the costume in the case referred to complied with the requirements, enforcement of which is Member State responsibility.

At the EU Toy Safety Expert Group's June 2015 meeting, UK authorities informed that investigations into the regulation of fancy dress costumes are ongoing and that a revision of EN 71-2 may be sought if warranted(3). An inquiry among other Member State authorities did not yield information on other similar incidents.

The Commission will carefully consider any information brought to its attention regarding the appropriateness or not of the current standard.

In the context of discussions on flammability requirements for upholstery and textiles, in particular children's clothing, the use of flame retardants is not universally accepted due to their potential toxicity, especially when exposure times increase. Standard EN 14878:2007 mentioned by the Honourable Member did not get a favourable assessment of Member States, inter alia, for this reason and thus the Commission did not make it a benchmark under Directive 2001/95/EC(4).

(1)Directive 2009/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18.6.2009 on the safety of toys, OJ L 170, 30.6.2009, p. 1.
(2)Annex II, Part II, point 1 of Directive 2009/48/EC.
(3)http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupDetailDoc&id=19432&no=1
(4)Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2001 on general product safety, OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.

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