Giftware & Toy Products Standards

CE Marking for Toys

The Toy Safety Directive (88/378/EEC, as amended by 93/68/EEC) applies to toys, defined as "any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age". A step-by-step approach is required to follow the full process of certifying toys safe for use with CE Marking.

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Fair Trade Label

Consumers around the world are becoming increasingly aware about social working conditions under which products are made. The Fairtrade label is committed to the payment of minimum guaranteed prices and price premiums to southern producers, directs long term trading relationships and ensures environmental and social responsibility of the production process. Fair Trade products have a fast growing market share.

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ILO Fundamental Labour Standards

Social issues have become increasingly important in international trade. Critical stakeholders in the EU, such as consumers, NGOs and the media, forced EU governments and the EU private sector to develop and implement strategies promoting the improvement of working conditions. As a result: a) many countries supplying to the EU ratified most of the ILO Conventions, obligating themselves to implement the established standards into their national policies; and b) many companies include the ILO Working Standards in their CSR policies in the form of a code of conduct or through sustainability certification that may often include (several of) the ILO Labour Standards.

Compliance with the ILO Labour Standards is in many cases a buyer requirement for importing into the EU. Adopting (part of) the ILO Labour Standards can therefore offer you as a supplier competitive advantage when exporting into the EU.

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ISO 26000

If you are an exporter of products or services to the EU, you have to take into account that you can be requested to meet certain social responsibility requirements. ISO 26000 is a framework of guidelines that can help you to map out and address sustainability issues regarding your organisation. Although ISO 26000 is not certifiable, references to the guidelines in various ways are increasingly common.

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Non-food retailer sustainability initiatives

In the EU, large, internationally operating retailier groups encompass a variety of distribution channels (see the box below). Because of their size, EU retailers are extremely influential in terms of pricing, products specifications and sourcing procedures. They exert an influence both on the companies that produce branded products and on the suppliers of their private label products. EU consumers increasingly hold EU retailers responsible for the sustainability aspects of the products they distribute (in addition to the quality and safety aspects laid down in legislation). In response to those increasing consumers' concerns, EU retailers developed codes of conducts, standards and management systems and obliged themselves to only source products that meet the environmental and social requirements laid down in these codes and standards.As a (potential) direct or indirect supplier to EU retailers, it is important to understand the initiatives of EU retailers regarding corporate social responsibility.

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Sustainability Reporting GRI

In a sustainability report an organization publicly communicates its economic, environmental, and social performance. Sustainability reporting is relevant for companies that want to disclose and measure their social, environmental and governance performance besides their economic performance. For Sri Lankan suppliers of products and services to EU customers sustainability reporting can be used to show the sustainability of your objectives and operations.

More and more organizations consider a sustainability report as a serious management tool contributing to the dialogue with internal and external stakeholders, shareholders and investors. As sustainability reporting is not mandatory, the quality and format of the reports vary greatly.The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) offers a standard framework to follow that is widely used for sustainability reporting.

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