All toys intended for use by children under 14 years of age must comply with the federal toy safety standard enacted by Congress in section 106 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (pdf) of 2008 (CPSIA).
What is the toy safety standard?
The toy safety standard refers to ASTM F 963-11 and to ASTM F 963-07ε1 for toy chests and covers toys and toy chests designed for use by children under 14 years of age.
ASTM F 963-11 is titled, The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. It is a very comprehensive standard that addresses numerous hazards that have been identified with toys. Previous versions of ASTM F963 were voluntary industry consensus standards that represented the collective work of industry, consumer groups, the government, and others to provide adequate industry-wide standards for toys.
In 2008, the CPSIA mandated that the voluntary toy safety standard then in effect become a nationwide mandatory children's product safety rule. All toys designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age and younger must be third party tested and be certified with the issuance of a Children’s Product Certificate.
You may view a summary and purchase the toy safety standard in its entirety from ASTM International's website. On ASTM's website, you can view a brief description of the toy safety standard, a table of contents of the standard's sections, and a list of products that are not covered by the toy safety standard (although some of those products, such as bicycles, are covered by another mandatory standard). In order to view the full standard, you must purchase the standard from ASTM because it is protected by copyright laws. You are urged to review the toy safety standard and to consider which sections of the standard may be applicable to your product. Ultimately, however, you will likely need to have your product tested by an accredited third party laboratory whose accreditation is accepted by the CPSC.
A manufacturer or importer is responsible for identifying the sections of the toy standard that apply to its product(s). To facilitate the testing of your product, you should contact a laboratory whose accreditation has been accepted by the CPSC to discuss your product and to secure an estimate. The estimate should provide you with an itemized listing of which sections of the standard the laboratory proposes to test your product for conformity. (As a consumer of these laboratory services, you may want to secure an estimate from more than one laboratory, as you likely would do with any major purchase.) Once you have identified the applicable requirements for your product, you must use a CPSC-accepted laboratory to perform the testing.
Is third-party testing and certification required for the toy safety standard?
Yes. Third-party testing and certification is required for those toys designed or intended primarily for children 12 and under.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Requirements Pertaining to Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies, 16 CFR 1112, March 12, 2013
- Laboratory Test Manual for Toy Testing [PDF]
- ASTM F 963-11 Chart