German consumers do not have to fear that children’s toys contain more toxins than before, according to an EU directive. This was the decision of the president of the EU court of first instance at the european court of justice in luxembourg. The eu commission must tolerate the retention of the stricter german limit values until the court has reached a final decision.
In 2009, the EU relaxed the limits for lead, barium, antimony, arsenic and mercury in children’s toys in a toy directive. Germany had voted against this decision and subsequently applied to the commission to be allowed to maintain the national limits. This had been expected by the commission by 21. July 2013 for barium and lead, but rejected for the other toxins antimony, arsenic and mercury.
Germany had filed an action for annulment with the court against the commission’s decision and requested an interim injunction to allow it to continue applying the old values.
The german complaint states that the new directive will increase the amount of lead allowed in scrapable children’s toys from the previous 90 to 160 mg/kg (milligrams per kilo). Arsenic has increased from 25 to 47 mg/kg, mercury from 60 to 94 mg/kg and antimony from 60 to 560 mg/kg. In the case of barium, 56,000 mg/kg is now permitted instead of 1000 mg/kg.
The president of the court stated in his order that germany had "established both the factual and legal necessity" of the interim order and had demonstrated the urgency of that order. Germany’s interest in maintaining its limits ahead of time outweighs the commission’s interest in rejecting the emergency application.
The court president pointed out that the dispute between the EU commission and the german government over the right limits raises "highly technical and complex questions. At first glance, these could not be declared irrelevant. Instead, they needed "more in-depth assessment". Therefore, the commission must await the outcome of the proceedings in the main case.