New standards for toys will hurt majority of retailers, says industry body

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Seeks transition period of 12 to 18 months to comply with it; also demands deferring of enforcement of norms till stakeholders can give suggestions

The apex body of retailers in the country, Retailers Association of India (RAI), on Thursday said the government’s new standards for toys will severely hurt a majority of retailers. The new norms, notified in September, specify that all imported toys should be tested locally and should comply with the standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the RAI said in a statement, adding that the norms were issued without consulting stakeholders.

“We understand that the new norms are intended to ensure quality and safety of toys. However, abrupt implementation of the notification, without giving sufficient time will lead to disruption in the market,” the RAI said.

The move would result in customer dissonance as toys are popular among children during the festive season, it said. “Non-availability of toys will lead to customer dissonance since retailers will not be able to meet the high demand of toys,” it added.

The RAI further said, “Abrupt withdrawal of popular toy products from the market fuels grey market economy. Such a move, would in fact be contrary to the government’s efforts to curb grey market, and will delay entry of high quality and safe products into the Indian market. Furthermore, this will enable counterfeit or copy products to enter the country.”

Besides, it said while as per the new notification, ‘representative sample of the toys being imported’ are to be tested “by an independent laboratory which is accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), India,” currently, none of the independent laboratories in India are NABL accredited.

Pointing out the difficulties in complying with the notification, the RAI said, “It is therefore imperative to ensure adequate transition period of 12 to 18 months as is the norm in many other large markets.”

It also demanded that the enforcement of the notification should be deferred until the stakeholders can put forth their recommendations.


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Loknath Das

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