Parents warned to look out for illegal and unsafe toys sold in the Netherlands
According to figures from the Dutch customs office, officials have seized almost 885.000 illegal toys since January 2019, with experts now warning parents to be on the lookout for any unsafe toys that could be on sale in the Netherlands.
Dutch customs office seizes 884.678 illegal toys
Toys sold in the Netherlands must pass extensive checks and requirements set out by EU guidelines. According to the Toy Safety Directive, manufacturers looking to sell in physical stores and / or online must have their products tested by independent agencies in order to ensure that the toy is safe for children.
In spite of this, however, hundreds of thousands of unsafe toys have been shipped to the Netherlands over the past four years. Since January 1, 2019, RTL Nieuws reports that customs intercepted the delivery of as many as 884.678 illegal toys. Just last week, over 130.000 counterfeit Huggy Wuggy toys were discovered across various aircraft.
Parents advised to shop at authorised stores in the Netherlands
Last week’s Huggy Wuggy incident has inspired experts to warn parents of the risk of unauthorised and unsafe toys. “The dangers of illegal toys are in all kinds of small corners: sharp edges, toxic materials, highly flammable items and above all: parts that easily come loose,” Emile Kalis, director of Stichting Speel Nederland, the trade association for toy companies, explains to RTL Nieuws.
Kalis worries that many parents are unaware of the risks their children face if playing with toys bought from abroad via webstores such as Alibaba: "Many people think: if it enters the Netherlands, there will be control checks. But that is not necessarily the case." He advises parents to shop at authorised stores in the Netherlands, as then “you have the best guarantee that you are buying a safe product."