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    General Directorate Quality and Safety: toys, fireworks and construction products in the spotlight 

    Within the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Directorate-General Quality and Safety of the FPS Economy is responsible for finalising three dossiers, with a particular focus on consumer protection:  

    1. adoption of tighter legislation regarding the safety of toys,  

    1. revision of European Regulation 305/2011 on the marketing of construction products, and  

    1. introduction of the pyro-pass within the framework of the sale of dangerous fireworks.  

    Our directorate-general thus meets two of the three main objectives of the Belgian presidency, namely protecting citizens and strengthening the economy. 

    Better toy safety  

    It is a priority for the Belgian Presidency to bring the proposal for a new European regulation on toy safety presented last summer to a successful conclusion. The proposal’s aim is to strengthen European legislation in the form of a regulation directly applicable in the Member States.  

    At the regulatory level, the proposal for a European regulation is in line with the Toy Safety Directive, and introduces two new features: 

    1. General ban on chemical substances in certain hazard classes. The ban’s aim is to better protect children from the most harmful chemical substances. Under certain circumstances, exemptions from that ban may be requested from the European Commission. The European Chemicals Agency will then be consulted for its scientific opinion. 

    1. Introduction of a digital product passport. It replaces the EC declaration of conformity, which manufacturers must draw up for each toy under the current directive. The passport is linked to a European Commission register, and will enable automatic verification of each toy entering the EU market via customs. Market surveillance authorities will have access to this digital passport. 

    Toys are one of the most frequently inspected products. In 2022, the FPS Economy opened 237 inspection files on toys, i.e. a third of the total number of files opened. Of those 237 cases, 80% originated from Customs. Our inspection body carried out two specific inspection campaigns: one on chemical requirements in toys and the other on toys with magnets. All actions taken by our directorate-general in that area and all our activities are detailed in our annual report. 

    That Belgian priority was already outlined on 5 December by Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Belgian Minister of Economy, at an event at Liège Bierset Airport, in the presence of our director-general, customs authorities, the European Commission and representatives from the industry. After all, the FPS Economy and customs work together to ensure that our children are not at risk. During the event, a practical demonstration was given of how inspections are carried out by customs and FPS Economy officials to ensure that the toys present on the Belgian market are safe, and to reaffirm the importance of efficient cooperation between the various stakeholders. That cooperation is already reflected in the "company checks" that will henceforth be carried out on distributors in Belgium. The aim of those checks is to increase pressure on manufacturers and importers to ensure that the toys they place on the market comply with regulations. 

    A new legislation for construction products 

    In the second priority dossier the Directorate-General Quality and Safetyfinalises the text of the revision of European Regulation 305/2011 on the marketing of construction products, the draft of which was submitted by the European Commission on 4 April 2022.  

    The aim is to replace the current legislative framework while taking the opportunity to include requirements on environmental sustainability, circular economy and digitalisation of the construction sector. On 13 December 2023, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached a preliminary political agreement on the proposal for the revision of the regulation, which must now be approved and formally adopted by both institutions. 

    Pyro-pass, an authorisation for the purchase of dangerous fireworks 

    In the field of fireworks, our directorate-general presents the Benelux initiative "pyro-pass", which aims to have an authorisation issued by the competent authorities for the purchase of certain categories of dangerous fireworks. The Belgian Minister of the Economy, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, will present the project in detail on 16 May in Rochefort, at a roundtable meeting for professionals from the sector (fireworks federation BelPyro, companies active in the fireworks) and the institutions involved (the police, Europol, the football association, etc.).  

    The main objective is to introduce a uniform document in the Benelux that also provides proof in a cross-border context that a particular person is authorised to purchase the pyrotechnic articles in question. That will remove the obstacle to the proper functioning of the internal market and help to combat illegal trade and prevent physical and material damage. Moreover, a web portal set up by each of the Benelux countries containing the national authorisations granted (pyro-pass). Economic operators will get access to that portal so they can check at any time whether the authorisation presented to them is valid. With that initiative, the Benelux Union is playing a pioneering role in the European Union. 

    Last update
    15 February 2024