The draft legislation, called Toys and Toy Products Compulsory Registration order, makes it mandatory for imported toys to be tested for toxic chemicals and registered in India before being sold to consumers.
Both the US and the EU have demanded that India should incorporate their suggestions and make the legislation framing process more transparent so that all concerns are addressed.
India, however, maintains that extensive bilateral consultations have already been held on the issue and the draft legislation, once framed, would be placed before the World Trade Organisation.
"Most countries frame laws to protect consumers on their own. We, too, are aware of our sovereign rights," an official told ET, adding, "At the same time, we do not want to keep the world guessing. So, we would definitely put up the draft legislation before the WTO."
The legislation is being prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is under the consumer affairs ministry, in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the nodal body for FDI policy.
"The BIS is continuously carrying out tests on the toxins that contaminate our toys and is upgrading the quality norms. The proposed order on registration of toys is to ensure that all our imports, too, strictly adhere to domestic standards," the official said.
Imports account for almost half of India's toy market, estimated at about $1.5 billion. It is expected to touch $2.6 billion by 2015, according to a recent study by industry body Assocham.
In 2009, India had banned import of toys from China over fears that the country was being flooding with cheap products that contained harmful chemicals. India, however, was forced to withdraw the ban after China complained to the WTO of being singled out.
In response to growing pressure from consumer activists, the BIS revised its toy safety standards last year, building in requirements for phthalate, a harmful chemical used for softening toys. The new compulsory registration order will ensure that imported toys are regulated on the same lines as domestic ones, the official said.
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1 Comment on this Story
Asif3010 days ago