A toy supply company has been fined for supplying unsafe toys and four more companies are before the courts on toy safety charges following Commerce Commission investigations.
The commission says Cinevan International Ltd was fined $81,000 in the Auckland District Court. Cinevan had earlier pleaded guilty to five representative charges relating to supply of 2,337 units of five toys or toy sets between January and December 2018.
“One feature of this case is that packaging on some of the toys carried labels or symbols indicating they were not suitable for children under 3. The toys were clearly intended for use by young children, and businesses cannot use such labels to avoid their legal responsibilities," says the commission’s Head of Consumer Stuart Wallace.
The commission currently has four more toy safety prosecutions before the courts:
- Greenstar Holding Ltd has pleaded guilty to four representative charges relating to the supply of 217 toy animal sets between November 2017 and February 2019. It is awaiting sentence.
- Feel So Good Ltd has pleaded guilty to five representative charges relating to supplying 2,964 units of a "Ha-Ha Groan Hammer" between August 2014 and December 2018. It will be sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 26 March.
- Kent Sing Trading Company Ltd has pleaded guilty to one representative charge relating to the supply of baby rattle toys between October 2014 and December 2018, and will be sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 22 April.
- Espoir Ltd has pleaded guilty to five representative charges relating to supply of toy animal sets between December 2014 and December 2018. It will be sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 3 April.
The commission says under testing, small parts became free from all the toys and toy sets, or toys or toy parts were small enough to pass through a template. In either case the toys or toy parts were a choking hazard to children 36 months and under.
“A common theme of these prosecutions is that the companies told us they had little or no knowledge of the toy safety Standard and did not have compliance programmes in place. The commission will continue to make such cases a high priority because they are about the safety of small children,” says Mr Wallace.
Other recent cases completed by the Commission saw fines handed down against First Mart and ACQ Development Limited.
ACQ was fined $81,000 in October 2019 for supplying 1,823 sets of unsafe rubber duck toy sets.