Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Toy Safety Guidelines Important For Wal-Mart

Following recalls and concerns over toy safety in China, Wal-Mart has begun sharing its new Toy Safety Net standards with all toy suppliers to ensure requirements and guidelines for material content in toy products, and testing, will impact all new toys and toy re-orders.

"We know national legislation is pending, but toy orders for this year are taking place, which prompted the need for us to provide suppliers guidance now,” said Laura Phillips, vice president of Toys, Wal-Mart, in a press release.

As of March 2008, Wal-Mart will require independent lab tests and documentation that all new toys and toy re-orders meet Wal-Mart's guidelines. This is a continuation of independent lab testing requirements that Wal-Mart began with its Toy Safety Net efforts last fall. Wal-Mart is requiring all toy suppliers for all new toy orders and re-orders to adhere to a maximum level of 90 ppm total lead in surface coatings on toys, down from a current limit of 600 ppm, and a maximum level of 600 ppm total lead in accessible components of a toy.

Wal-Mart will also require all toy suppliers of new toy orders and re-orders to reduce the level of certain phthalates in toys to a maximum of 0.1%. The company also strongly recommends suppliers date code or stamp toy products, for traceability and date of production.

Wal-Mart says it also stands ready to help leaders in China who are implementing new testing procedures to ensure the highest safety standards for toy products.

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