Toys from market traders and mobile stallholders

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

This guide is for those traders who sell from a market stall rather than permanent shop premises. It explains what you must do to comply with the law on the sale of toys to consumers.

The law

All toys sold to consumers in the UK must comply with the requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 in respect of the standards of safety and labelling.


The manufacturer of the toy or their authorised representative only must place a CE mark on the toy or its packaging as a declaration the Regulations have been complied with. The CE mark also means the manufacturer is stating the product is a toy and could be played with by a child of 14 years old or under depending on which age group it has been designed for.

The CE mark must be shown in the following format and be at least 5 mm high.

CE mark

Labelling and warnings

Toys must be labelled in the following way and this is usually found on the packaging:

  • name and address details of the manufacturer or their authorised representative if they are in the EU
  • name and address details of the first UK importer or manufacturer's authorised representative if the manufacturer is outside the EU

The name and address details can be shortened as long as it is still possible to identify the business responsible for the toy. This enables Trading Standards Officers to trace the product to its origin if there is a safety or labelling problem.

If toys are not safe for small children to play with because they have small detachable parts they must be individually and suitably labelled even if they are sold loose from a display box. They must carry a written warning, for example 'not suitable for children under 3 years of age due to small parts which may cause a choking hazard'.

You might also see this 0-3 logo on the packaging which must be at least 10 mm in diameter and must be accompanied by the reason for the age restriction, for example, 'CHOKING HAZARD, small parts'.

Toy is not suitable for children under 3 years of age

Soft toys with simple features intended for holding and cuddling are considered suitable for children under 36 months and must not have small detachable parts or an age restriction applied to them.

Important points to remember:

  • all toys should have a batch number
  • do not sell toys without these details
  • return the toys to your supplier as it is an indication they have not gone through safety checks
Check your toys
  • Does the toy have small parts which come off when pulled? There may be a choking hazard and the toy should be returned to your supplier
  • Does the toy have any obvious sharp points or edges? An injury may result and the toy should be returned to your supplier
  • Is the toy packaged in a large plastic bag? If so, the bag must have air holes and not pose a suffocation hazard
Know your suppliers

If you cannot prove who your supplier is, you may be held responsible for a safety problem that arises over a toy which is not properly labelled.

  • DO NOT purchase your goods from suppliers who cannot give you an itemised receipt with a contactable name and address
  • DO purchase toys from a reliable source
  • Check RAPEX Alerts weekly