Folksy Ltd

Doll and toy makers, CE marking scare

(Kim May) #1

I make dolls amongst other things and am fully aware that they should be CE safety marked and am in the process of doing this. I’ve just had an e mail from a fellow Folksy crafter saying I should remove my dolls immediately before I regret it forever and that there is a risk of me losing my life’s income and more! I think she was trying to be helpful but they were rather scary words I thought! I’m just wondering if other toy and doll makers on Folksy all have a CE mark? It looks like I shall be closing my shop until I get this sorted as this lady has really got me worried. :disappointed:

(WoollyPops) #2

Hi Kim
Firstly don’t ever let anyone sad enough to send you stern words make you feel intimidated or saddened. Secondly I wasn’t aware of this either and I have listings for amigurumi soft toys so I thought I’d do a little research. I’ve looked here there Is a very long winded guide which you can download also. I also found this website which was more helpful I’m going to read through now as I’ve only skimmed through. Just wanted to reply and put you at ease as I think the only criticism you should receive in regards to craft should be constructive and not ‘stern’ as you say. Don’t panic I’m pretty sure you won’t be arrested :wink:

(WoollyPops) #3

(Kim May) #4

Thank you for the links. I have already looked into CE marking at depth. Although it all looks a little daunting and time consuming, my husband has offered to do it all for me but this could take some time as he’s a busy man. I suppose you could say the lady was giving me legal advice but it was a little over the top, and No, I won’t be fleeing the country to escape prison!

(WoollyPops) #5

After looking in depth also I’m in two minds weather to take my toys out of my shop as I make other things and wait until I have the pack of info and they are classed as legitimate. Decision pending

(Christine Shephard) #6

She wasn’t by any chance a rival doll maker was she?

I suppose she thinks she was just being helpful, but some people seem to take pleasure from scaring the life out of others. Yes, legally you should check with your local trading standards to see whether they need CE labels, and probably go through the process before selling them. There are many products on here - not just dolls and toys - that probably should meet various regulations and have certain labels, but I wouldn’t mind betting that 90% of them don’t!

If you want to rest easy and be able to state clearly on your listings that they meet the CE regs, I would do it (it’s a great selling point) but don’t let the scaremongers get to you - there are people on here that have been selling dolls without CE marks for years, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t been arrested yet!

(Liz Dyson) #7

I have one of your dolls. Does that make me an accomplice? Perhaps we can share a cell?

(Liz Clark) #8

When I first made toys I had no idea about CE marking. I stumbled across it on a forum and had a real big panic. I contacted my local Trading Standards, who were helpful, even came to my house to see what I was making and advise what was needed. Also there is a FB page worth joining if you’re on FB as they were very helpful too

Technically it’s a legal requirement to CE mark every toy placed on the market. However many handmade people are unaware of this, and Trading Standards appreciate this and are helpful because they want to support us handcrafters and help us sell toys legally. From what I learnt whilst I was doing toys, people did have their stalls and businesses closed down until they had been through CE marking - I’ve never heard of it being anything more than that, like risking your life’s income. So try not to worry, grasp the nettle so to speak, and go for it. You will get great satisfaction once you’ve done it! All the best, and hope that helps.

(Kim May) #9

Be careful of that doll! I sewed some sharp knives into the seams and then doused it in toxic waste. But I would be happy to share a cell with you and we could set up a “Folksy behind bars” site.

(Kim May) #10

I was just wondering actually where little girls bags come into this? are they classed as a toy or just a small mini version of a ladies bag which obviously doesn’t need a CE mark.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #11

You could lose everything if one of your toys caused injury or an allergic reaction ie you could be sued and held legally responsible. So yes whoever contacted you was correct and yes its better someone tell you than you go on your merry way and fall foul.

Best to get everything sorted legally before selling something. You don’t have to close your shop just hide those items that are not legally ready for sale yet in order to cover yourself.

Don’t blame the messenger in fact best to thank them for the heads up.

(Liz Clark) #12

I think your TS would be best to ask on that one. I think if they are fashion bags then they wouldn’t need a CE mark, but anything with play value (think dressing up) then they would.

(Roz) #13

Having a friend in trading standards meant that I was aware of these (and other) regulations before I started crafting and having looked into it I decided it was too much like hard work for me so I steer clear of toys. I think ultimately it is probably a good idea to go down the CE route as I expect the regulations will only get tighter with time and you may as well get ahead of the game. From following the Facebook group I get the impression that once you get going its not all that hard - it just looks a bit daunting. I think if toys were all I made I would probably make the effort but I have plenty of other things that I can do without making toys. A lot of the classification of what is a toy is a bit of a grey area itself - best to get advise from trading standards rather than listening to the advise of well meaning crafters.

BTW: I joined the FB group when I was thinking of making some toys and they seem very helpful.

(Kim May) #14

If someone were to sue me for an allergic reaction I think I would in turn sue the manufacturer and supplier of the fabric and stuffing!
I never said the lady who contacted me was incorrect, I actually said in my first post that she was being helpful. It was just her wording that unnerved me and I still don’t know why she only contacted me and not other doll and toy makers on here that don’t have CE marking.

(Roz) #15

To be fair Kim @kaymay I think one of the purposes of the CE marking is to make sure that the fabric and stuffing you use has been tested to ensure that it doesn’t leach out any dangerous chemicals which could happen if certain dyes or products have been used in manufacture. I don’t think you would be able to sue a company unless they have stated their products meet the required standards and then fail to do so.

(Sasha Garrett) #16

Hi Kim,
I once felt compelled to contact a maker about a piece of jewellery because it was made with old electronics components and there is a risk of heavy metals with that sort of thing but there was no warning about the possibility of that or that people could have a reaction as a result. I only found out about the item because I spotted it on the homepage when I logged in one morning and curiousity made me click on it, I certainly didn’t go looking for it and haven’t bothered to see if anyone else is selling anything similar. Maybe the lady who contacted you spotted one of your dolls on the homepage/ recently listed/ favourited, was tempted by it but when she looked she could see no reference to CE markings so felt compelled to contact you.
Good luck with the CE paperwork.

(Deborah Jones) #17

She probably contacted you because you mentioned in a previous post on the forum that you were in the process of getting things CE certified, and could see that you already had items that needed certification up for sale.
She maybe thought it was more discreet to message you personally than comment on the forums.

(Leslie Morton) #18

I am the person that sent the email to Kim. I thought she would appreciate a private message rather than a comment in her forum thread. However, I am kind of glad you came back to the forum on this as it will be a heads up for other shops operating without the marking.

I do not sell toys nor anything else that competes with Kim’s products.I also did not criticize Kim in any way. As soon as you start selling, you have certain responsibilities. Whether your shop is a hobby or your primary income is not relevant.

I am sorry that you feel I was scaring you BUT what I said was true to fact. No one should be selling any item that is without CE marking if it is required - as I said you have no protection if something goes wrong. Liability insurance will not help as as soon as it has been established that you have not the legally required marking the insurance is null and void.

I did not pick you out of all the makers on Folksy but as others have said, you made some comments in your post. I am not a policeman but as I have thirty years of experience dealing with the legality of similar matters, if I see someone contravening the laws of the land, I will do the same - for the shop owner and those that could potentially be affected.

Once again, I am sorry if I caused you angst; on the other hand, I am pleased if this has caused you, and anyone else reading this post, to do the right thing.

Kind regards,

(Kim May) #19

Hi Leslie,

Yes, thank you for the heads up. I was in fact already aware of the CE marking and had already started the progress when you e mailed me. My original post was really only to ask if other doll and toy makers had got their stuff CE marked and that your e mail made made me realise how scary it would be if someone did sue. That is what I meant by “scary words” It wasn’t you that was worrying me, it was the realisation of what could happen that unnerved me. I realise you were being helpful (which I did say) and you are in fact correct (which I also said) and I don’t know why anyone would think you criticized me. So I hope we can agree that your e mail was polite and friendly and helpful and hopefully all the other doll makers will now be scared into getting CE markings!

Kim x

(Leslie Morton) #20

Thank you Kim. I really do wish you all the best!
Kind regards, Leslie