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Why Have Over 18,000 Toys Been Seized from Hamleys, Archies, and WH Smith?

The raids were conducted by Bureau of Indian Standards against toy sellers for violating quality norms.

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What We Know
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What has happened? More than 18,000 toys from major stores across India, including those of Hamleys and Archies, have been seized by the government through 44 raids conducted in the past two weeks, said official sources.

The raids or enforcement drives were conducted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) against toy sellers for selling toys without conforming to the quality norms specified by BIS.

Why has CCPA issued a notice? The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued notices to three major e-commerce companies namely Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal as well for alleged violation of toys quality control order, sources added.

But what norms did these toymakers flout?

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What do the norms state? Since 1 January 2021, the government has made it compulsory for toys to conform to the Quality Control Order norms specified by BIS.

Business Insider quoted BIS director general Pramod Kumar Tiwari as saying to media persons on Thursday, 12 January that the raids were conducted as they had been receiving complaints against violations from several quarters against toy sellers and makers.

How many toys were seized? According to BIS, nearly 9,000 toys were seized from Raj Toy World, Ahmedabad, 3,080 from Giftz, Madurai, about 2,000 from Royal Mart, Bengaluru and 817 were seized from Kids Zone, Chennai.

Seizures have also been made at stores of key retailers including Hamleys, WHSmith, Archies and Cococart at malls and airports.

'Part of awarness drive': Tiwari added this is part of a drive to increase awareness among sellers and consumers about mandatory BIS certification for toys.

He added that action against the errant sellers will be taken as per provisions of the BIS Act.

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Meanwhile, Nidhi Khare, Chief Commissioner, CCPA, stated that the authority has issued notices to Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal for sale of toys in violation of compulsory BIS standards.

“CCPA has sought response from the e-commerce entities within 7 days from issuance of notice, failing which necessary action may be initiated against them under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019,” an official statement added.

BIS writes to customs: Meanwhile, The Hindu Business Line reported that BIS has also written to the Customs department for the setting up of joint teams to ensure that imported consignments of toys are in compliance with the BIS quality norms.

BIS is also working on a mechanism to automatically verify whether a declaration made by a seller on an e-commerce platform regarding their BIS certification is authentic through development of an API, according to the newspaper.

E-commerce platforms have also assured that they will mention in their product description that the product comes under mandatory certification.

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Topics:  toys   seized   What We Know 

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