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Girl in Witch Costume

Fancy dress costumes are categorized as toys and therefore must comply with relevant safety regulations for their destined market, such as EN 71 for EU Market which tests for flammability, choking or strangulation hazards, and toxicity.

As the UK is no longer a part of the EU, harmonized standards such as EN 71 have been replaced by ‘Designated Standards’ which are approved by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

To further align with the European toy flammability standard EN 71–2: 2020, in June 2022, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published an updated version of the Code of Practice: "The Flammability Safety of Children’s Disguise Costume”.

The updated version:

  • Retains the burn rate of 10mm/s where the updated EN 71-2:2020 retains the previous requirement of a maximum rate of spread of flame of 30mm/s
  • Brings the two guides (test method and labelling guide) into one document
  • Adds a new chapter Best Manufacturing Practice for some suggestions on designing and manufacturing disguise costumes
  • Provides more up-to-date pictorial examples

Moreover, the following testing aspects of the BRC Code of Practice which have not been adopted into EN71-2:2020: have now been incorporated into this version of the Code of Practice as Best Manufacturing Practice:

  • Testing samples in both length and width orientations
  • The additional re-testing of materials which do not ignite by adding a piece of cotton
  • Fillings which would fall out of the test specimen are now required to be tested using the test method in EN 71-2 for soft-filled toys (clause 4.5) rather than the separate methods of test defined by BRC. This only applies to parts which are larger than 150mm in the vertical dimension

Note: The former BRC requirements for loose fillings have been deleted from this Code of Practice as a requirement has now been included within EN 71-2 but attention is drawn to the information in the section on Good Manufacturing Practice.

BRC Flammability Warning Label

With a global network of toy laboratories, SGS experts across Europe and the UK has an extensive knowledge of this requirement, ensuring compliance for market access.


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To obtain a copy in PDF, please click here.