45% toys found unsafe in 2019; 82% passed tests in 2022: Govt

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 14: The government on Wednesday informed the Lok Sabha that as many as 30 per cent of plastic toys failed to meet the safety standards of admissible levels of phthalates, heavy metals, while 80 per cent of plastic toys failed on mechanical and physical safety properties.

Also, the government said that 45 per cent soft toys failed on the admissible levels of phthalates. “In case of electric toys, failure was 75 per cent. Overall, only 33.10 per cent toys passed all tests while failure rate was 66.90 per cent,” said the Ministry of Commerce during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade engaged Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous organization, had conducted mystery shopping and testing of toys to assess their quality. This exercise was done during September to November, 2019, and 121 different varieties of toys were procured and submitted to NABL accredited laboratories to perform tests.

The Ministry further stated that proactive steps have been taken to restrict import of sub-standard and unsafe toys and to promote domestic toy industry. “As a result the volume of import of toys into the Indian market has shown a consistently decreasing trend. The import of toys to India has decreased from $332.55 million in 2014-15 to $109.72 million in 2021-22, a decrease of approximately 67 per cent. Exports of toys has increased from $96.17 million in 2014-15 to $326.63 million in 2021-22, an increase of approximately 240 per cent,” said the government.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in 2019 had mandated sample testing of each import consignment and no permission for sale unless the quality testing is successful. Basic Custom Duty (BCD) on toys was increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent in February, 2020. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) granted 1001 licenses to domestic manufacturers and 28 licenses to foreign manufacturers for manufacture of toys with BIS standard Marks. “To test the quality of toys now available in the market, BIS drew 2077 samples of toys in the year 2022 for testing. Out of these, 82 per cent of samples passed all tests as per the relevant standards,” said the government.

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