Inspection and quarantine authorities in south China's Guangdong Province have bolstered efforts to
further scrutinize the quality of toys exported overseas.
A new product quality licensing system was launched this week,
and toy exporters have been ordered to have their products assessed
locally for official inspection.
All toymakers that manufacture products for foreign markets will
need to apply for "quality licensing" within a month, according to
an official with Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine
Bureau, who declined to be identified.
"We will keep a closer watch on not only finished products but
also on potentially dangerous chemicals and paints," she said.
"And we will keep records concerning suppliers of potentially
dangerous chemicals for toys and toy subcontractors."
The move follows two recent massive toy recalls in the United
US toy giant Mattel requested in early August that Foshan-based
Lee Der Industrial Co Ltd recall 967,000 plastic toys containing
excessive amounts of lead in the paint.
And RC2, a toy company in the US, requested Dongguan-based
Hansheng Wooden Products Factory recall 1.5 million wooden toys for
a similar reason in June.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection
and Quarantine, the nation's top quality control watchdog, has
since banned both toy factories from exporting.
An official with Dongguan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine
Bureau, who asked for anonymity, said toys made in his city were
However, he suggested that toy manufacturers should pay more
attention to issues such as substandard small components, improper
warning messages, improper magnetic toy design and hazardous
Li Zhuoming, vice-chairman of Guangdong Toy Industry
Association, also attempted to tamp down fears of Made-in-China
"What I can assure you is that Guangdong's toy production
technologies and capabilities are up to world standards," Li said.
"Generally speaking, the quality of our toy products is
The vice-chairman said Guangdong exported more than 300,000
batches of toys to the United States in 2006, and only 29 were
Simon Yip, the head of a toy firm in Guangzhou, said the recalls
were a wake-up call for toy manufacturers in China.
"We can spare no efforts to guarantee the product quality from
raw material purchase to production," Yip said.
However, he urged foreign toy importers not to demand the lowest
price for the manufacture of their products.
"Toymakers have to be extremely economical in every way in order
to survive when the profit is so limited," Yip said.
(China Daily August 23, 2007)