China's burgeoning toy industry will be better regulated as the nation's compulsory certification system for toy products moves into full swing, senior certification officials said.
Rag dolls and electronic toys produced by two manufacturers in South China's Guangdong Province received the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) last week, according to sources with the nation's Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) on Friday.
From March 1, toy producers in China have been able to apply to three certification agencies nominated by the CNCA to certify their products, said Liu Weijun, chief engineer of the administration.
The administration has nominated 15 institutions to examine toys for certification, he said.
By June 1, 2007, no toy products without CCCs will be allowed to leave factories, be sold or be imported into China, Liu said.
It is hoped this measure will mitigate the increasing international pressure on environmental protection, as well as further expand the nation's toy export market, insiders said.
Insiders said they believe China's domestic toy market value could exceed US$3.75 billion annually.
China's toy products account for 75 per cent of the world's toy output, according to statistics from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-Crafts (CCCLA).
Toys made in China are being exported to Europe, the United States, Japan and other regions and countries, it said. Guangdong Province is the biggest exporter of toys from the Chinese mainland, making up over 60 per cent of the mainland's total toy exports.
As the toy industry has grown over recent years, some inferior and bogus toy products have posed serious risks to the health and safety of babies and children.
From 2005, the CNCA began accepting compulsory certifications for toys in six categories including electric, plastic and metal products as well as baby carriers, CNCA officials said.
The Chinese mainland has since issued compulsory certifications to 162 types of products in 23 categories, according to CNCA statistics.
CCCLA figures show the mainland now has more than 8,000 toy manufacturers with an annual output value exceeding 50 billion yuan (US$6.25 billion).
At the same time, China's toy industry is also trying to find ways to expand its huge domestic market, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
China's mainland has 286 million children under the age of 14; however, per capita, only US$3.6 per year is spent on toys, compared with US$34 per year spent on toys in the United States.
Source: China Daily