Tighter Regulations for Expanding Indian Toy Market
Indian Toy Market
The past decade has seen the Indian toy industry making quick strides in terms of production and exports. With global manufacturers like Mattel and Funskool now having units based in India, the country is able to produce a wide range of products, such as plastic and mechanical activity toys, plastic and soft dolls, stuffed toys, board games, puzzles, educational games and toys, metal toys and electronic toys and games.
The Indian toy industry holds immense potential. The country is able to offer an abundance of raw materials, a low cost skilled labor force and wide range of products to select from. There are challenges facing the industry too as it struggles to produce volumes for globally competitive pricing due to the fragmentation of technical knowledge. In spite of huge demand the sector still remains largely unorganized, lacking the regulatory controls to prevent the quality aspects in the toy supply chain from being neglected. The government of India, working through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) (http://www.bis.org.in/), is actively pursuing further regulation that will monitor product safety in children products. With the implementation of this new regulation expected to reshape the Indian toy making sector, the future appears vibrant and will put India further along the road to becoming an important part of the global toy export map.
Indian Safety Legislation
With markets increasing both domestically and abroad, safety regulations have become more stringent with each passing year. The evolution of safety legislations impacting India began in the 1920’s when phthalates were first introduced. Following the EU restrictions on the sale of toys and childcare articles made of soft PVC in 1999, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) adopted the Standard IS 9873 Part 1-3 regarding safety requirements for toys during the years 1999 to 2001. Retailers recalled millions of toys in 2007 due to concerns over lead paint and tiny magnets. After having prohibited the import of Chinese toys in January 2009, India extended the prohibition to all imported toys that do not meet international nor domestic quality standards on mechanical and physical properties, flammability and migration of heavy metals.
Green Initiatives for Toys
With consumers increasingly active in monitoring the safety of the toys they buy, the Indian toy industry is preparing to adapt to a new set of safety standards. In order to ensure safe fun for toddlers, toy manufacturers in India are embarking on a green drive by initiating a recycling process with the use of non-toxic raw materials. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is urging its near 600 members to become more environmentally and safety conscious through the recycling of toys and the adoption of nontoxic materials as the single source for manufacture.
SGS India (http://www.sgsgroup.in/en-GB/Consumer-Goods-Retail/Toys-and-Juvenile-Products/Toys.aspx) is at the forefront of cutting edge testing and its laboratories can carry out tests that meet the India standards IS 9873 Parts 1, 2 & 3. SGS is the first and only BIS approved laboratory for all three parts of IS 9873. With their wide network of toy experts and testing facilities worldwide, SGS helps to ensure that toys comply with standards for all markets globally.
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.
For further information on toy regulations in India, please contact the local SGS expert.
SGS Consumer Testing Services
Manager – Hardlines
SGS India Pvt. Ltd.
250 Udyog Vihar-IV
t: + 91 124 677 6199
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