Customs reminds parents of toy safety (with photos)

6 Jul 2012

The Customs and Excise Department today (July 6) reminded parents to watch out for potential hazards posed by some stuffed toys.

Customs officers have recently conducted spot checks on retailers supplying stuffed toys in various districts. A number of stuffed toys were sent to an accredited laboratory for safety tests. The results revealed that the zipper pullers of two models were found to be detachable from the toys in tension tests. The zipper pullers can also pose a choking hazard if accidentally swallowed by young children.

In addition, the thickness of the elastic plastic packaging bags of two other models of stuffed toys were found to be less than the specified 0.038mm, posing a danger of suffocation to children if the bags are placed on young children's heads inadvertently.

A total of six unsafe stuffed toys have so far been seized from two retailers. All of them were found to have unsafe plastic packaging bags.

A Customs spokesman said, "Follow-up actions have been conducted against the related wholesalers and suppliers. The department has prohibited them from supplying the unsafe toys. Investigation is continuing. Prosecution actions will be taken against the companies concerned for offences under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance should there be sufficient evidence."

Parents are advised to beware of small parts detachable from the toys and should dispose of plastic bags for packing the toys properly and prevent children from putting the bags onto their heads. Parents are also advised to be alert when selecting toys for their children.

Under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to import, manufacture or supply unsafe toys in Hong Kong.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of one year on first conviction, and a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment of two years on subsequent conviction.

Customs conducts spot checks on the safety of toys and children's products to ensure their compliance with the safety requirements of the prescribed standards under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance in order to protect consumer interest.

To report unsafe toys and children's products, the public can call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau (1), Customs and Excise Department, 14/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Friday, July 6 2012
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