New norms for toys may hurt majority of retailers, says RAI

Retailers Association of India (RAI) said the government’s new standards for toys will severely hurt a majority of retailers.

The norms, notified in September, specify all imported toys should be tested locally and comply with the standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, said RAI, the apex body of the retailers, on Thursday.

“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,” a statement from 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.”

The RAI further said, “Abrupt withdrawal of popular toy products from the market fuels grey market economy.” Furthermore, this will enable counterfeit or copy products to enter the country.”

It also 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 to the difficulties in complying with the norms, 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.”

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