Over 18,500 toys seized from Hamleys, Archies and other retail stores for lack of BIS quality mark

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CCPA has also issued notices to e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal for alleged violation of toys quality control order

New Delhi: The government on Thursday said 18,600 toys have been seized in the last one month from major retail stores, including those of Hamleys and Archies, at airports and malls across India for lack of BIS quality mark and use of fake licences.

Meanwhile, consumer protection regulator CCPA has also issued notices to three major e-commerce players — Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal — for alleged violation of toys quality control order, it said.

Since January 1, 2021, the government has made it mandatory for toys to conform with safety norms specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a national standard-setting body.

“We received complaints from domestic manufacturers of sale of toys that do not conform with the BIS standard. We conducted 44 raids in last one month and seized 18,600 toys from major retail stores,” BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari said in a press conference.

The seized toys were both locally manufactured as well as imported. Some of the toys did not have mandatory BIS quality mark, some had fake BIS license number and some toys had ‘origin of other countries’, he said.

Tiwari said the raids were conducted in major retail stores, including those of Hamleys, Archies, WH Smith, Kids Zone, and Cococart, located at major airports and malls across the country.

According to the BIS, toys were seized from Hamleys’ stores at New Delhi airport Terminal 1 and 2 as well as in Kolkata, Ranchi, Noida, and SAS Nagar (Punjab).

Toys have also been seized from the Archies store at Ghaziabad’s Pacific Mall, WH Smith stores at Hyderabad and Delhi airports, Cococart stores at Mumbai and Gujarat airports, and Tiara Toys Zone at Chennai airport, it said.

Maximum toys of about 9,000 were seized from Ahmedabad-based Raj Toy World, followed by 3,080 toys from Madurai-based Giftz, and 2,000 toys from Bengaluru-based Royal Mart and Chennai-based Kids Zone, it added.

Tiwari said the BIS has planned surveillance of toy shops across the country in a phased manner. In the first phase, big retailers located at airports and malls are being targeted. In the later phases, small retailers and manufacturers will be targeted.

A legal action will be taken against the retailers for violation of quality norms as per the provisions of the BIS Act, under which initial penalty is Rs 1 lakh for first offence to maximum a jail term, he added.

Meanwhile, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) is also keeping an eye on e-commerce platforms for any violation of toys quality control order.

“We have also issued notices to Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal for selling toys without BIS quality mark,” CCPA chief Nidhi Khare said.

On further steps taken to ensure quality toys are sold in India, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said a joint group is being set up with customs officials to check if imported toys comply with the Indian standards.

“We have written to customs to form a joint group to check consignments of imported toys. This will help to stop the entry of toys, that do not conform with Indian standards, in the domestic market,” he said.

E-commerce players have also agreed to show product declaration on their platforms that the product complies with the BIS quality standards, he said, adding that this will come into force in the next 15 days.

Other measures being taken is to verify the claim of a seller on a e-commerce platform that the products/services comply with the BIS quality standards, he added.

Currently, about 458 products including toys are brought under the mandatory quality control order in the country.