The mandatory standard was last updated on 5 September 2023 and prescribes requirements for the design and construction of toys for children up to and including 36 months of age.
The mandatory standard was created to reduce the chances of small parts releasing or coming off toys during play or after reasonable wear and tear, helping to prevent choking, suffocation, or death.
The mandatory standard applies to toys for children up to and including 36 months of age which have been:
- marketed as playthings.
About children’s toys
Toys for children up to and including 36 months of age include but are not limited to:
- rattles, toy dummies, teethers, and squeeze toys
- toys for attaching to cots, playpens, prams and strollers
- push and pull toys
- pounding toys
- blocks and stacking toys
- bath toys
- rocking, spring and stick horses and figures
- musical chime toys
- jack-in-the box
- stuffed, plush and flocked animals and figures
- toys with pompoms
- games and puzzles
- toy cars, trucks and other vehicles.
The mandatory standard excludes:
- tapes and CDs
- writing materials
- paints and paint brushes
- modelling materials including play dough, clay and plasticine
- bicycles having a wheel base of not less than 640 mm
- playground equipment for parks, schools and home use
- goods supplied wholly or partially unassembled that need an adult to assemble them after they're bought, if when assembled according to their supplied written instructions, the goods follow the specified standards
- flotation toys
- baby dummies
- toys made wholly from highly porous material (such as cheesecloth) – except for toys with pompoms
- toys made from certain plastics that are labelled according to the mandatory standard.
The mandatory standard, the Consumer Goods (Toys for Children up to and including 36 Months of Age) Safety Standard 2023 sets out the requirements for toys for children up to and including 36 months of age. The mandatory standard allows compliance with one of the following:
- Australian standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2023 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
- International (ISO) standard ISO 8124‑1:2022 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties
- European (EN) standard EN 71‑1:2014 + A1:2018: Safety of toys – Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties
- American (ASTM) standard ASTM F963‑17 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.
The listed requirements aim to give suppliers a general idea of what the mandatory standard requires. Suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance. Suppliers should refer to the mandatory standard for the complete requirements.
The mandatory standard specifies procedures for testing that suppliers should organise through specialist testing laboratories.
Design and construction
Toys for young children can come in many shapes, forms and materials. The toy itself and any parts of it that can come off must not be smaller than a certain size; this size is roughly the same as a 35 mm film canister. Manufacturers must ensure their toys comply with the standard.
Battery operated toys
In June 2022, 4 Button Battery safety and information standards became mandatory. These standards apply to both button/coin batteries and products containing button/coin batteries. The Consumer Goods (Toys for Children up to and including 36 Months of Age) Safety Standard 2023 places specific requirements on those toys which contain batteries.
The mandatory standard requires all toys for children up to and including 36 months of age containing any type of battery to have the battery compartment secured in such a way that it can only be accessed by using a tool. This is based on the potential harm that can come from accessible batteries, as children up to 36 months of age can swallow small parts.
Toy suppliers must note that even if toys are labelled and/or marketed for older children, the mandatory standard may apply if the toys are commonly recognised as being intended or suitable for children under 36 months of age.
The mandatory standard provides some guidance on appropriate ages for using toys, referencing official United States age determination guidelines by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (PDF).
Suppliers have until 4 March 2025 to transition to the requirements of the new mandatory standard.
During the transition period suppliers will have a choice to comply with either:
- the Consumer Protection Notice No. 14 of 2003, as amended by Consumer Protection No. 1 of 2005 or
- the Consumer Goods (Toys for Children up to and including 36 Months of Age) Safety Standard 2023.
From 5 March 2025 suppliers must only comply with the Consumer Goods (Toys for Children up to and including 36 Months of Age) Safety Standard 2023.
More information is available in the Explanatory Statement on the Federal Register of Legislation website.