Dangerous toys seized and destroyed at Gatwick Airport

Dangerous toys and other illegal goods have been seized at Gatwick Airport


Release date: 16 March 2020

Dangerous toys and other illegal goods have been seized at Gatwick Airport and destroyed following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

Officers were alerted by Border Force in September 2019 after they had concerns about some products imported from China for sale on a major online selling platform.

106 boxes containing toys, swimming goggles, ear candles and children’s playpens were inspected by Trading Standards and Border Force officers.

A sample of the playpens was then sent for testing. Results showed the packaging posed a risk of asphyxiation and the product did not comply with labelling requirements.

Proper labelling on the other toys was also missing.

Trading Standards officers contacted the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to verify the ear candles were a registered medical device as claimed by the importer. They confirmed these products were not registered and therefore cannot be supplied in the UK.

The importer was unable to confirm that the goggles were safe and complied with the relevant legislation on personal protective equipment.

All the goods were refused entry and the importer paid for their destruction.
Border Force stopped more toys at Gatwick Airport in December 2019 and once again alerted West Sussex Trading Standards.

These toys had come from China and were due to be sold on a major online selling platform.

The boxes of toys contained ‘Avengers’ surprise toy eggs, make your own jewellery sets, build your own garden sets and super hero wrist slapper bracelets.

Officers immediately noticed that the toys were incorrectly labelled.

Samples were then sent for testing and results showed some of the toys posed a choking hazard to children under three.

Packaging on some of the items was also deemed to be a suffocation hazard because the plastic was too thin.

As a result of these findings, the toys are believed to be counterfeit.

All four boxes of toys were destroyed at the importer’s cost.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “These goods could have caused serious harm if sold in the UK and some of the toys may have been fatal for a young child.

“When shopping online, we would urge people to only buy from reputable brands and retailers.”

Anyone who thinks they have purchased an unsafe product, should contact Trading Standards or via Citizens Advice on  03444 111 444.

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