India's safety standards on toys not mandatory in nature

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) The government today said it had received reports regarding recall of toys by the US imported from China for containing excess level of lead paint, considered injurious to health.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jairam Ramesh said the US recalled toys imported from China after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission found ''excess level of lead paint, violating the officially prescribed lead paint standard.'' Mr Ramesh also said there were some other children articles, which were recalled by the US due to design or manufacturing defect which had or could have caused injury. There were cases of toys recalled due to fire hazard, he informed.

In the Indian context, he said import of toys is free. ''As per the Foreign Trade Policy, all imports are subject to domestic laws, rules, orders, regulations, technical specifications, environmental and safety norms as applicable to domestically produced goods,'' he added.

As regards the safety requirement for toys, the minister said the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had prescribed three safety standards, including the one on fixing maximum acceptable standards for element like antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead, mercury and selenium, for toys.

''However, these BIS standards are purely voluntary and neither mandatory on domestic manufacturers nor on imports,'' he said.

Mr Ramesh said the Ministry of Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises has set up testing facilities at Mumbai and New Delhi for evaluation of toys.

UNI SKS MSJ HS1550

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