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Excitement Builds for Toy Industry Events This Fall

by Kristin Morency Goldman

As the toy & play community embarks on a new year once again lled with both opportunities and challenges, e Toy Association remains focused on tackling issues impacting members – from counterfeits and global supply chain challenges to e-commerce and sustainability trends. “Protecting our members and helping them advance their businesses here at home and around the world remains one of the most vital reasons for e Toy Association’s existence,” said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO.

A key focus in 2022 will be to assist members seeking growth and expansion in international markets. e Toy Association’s recently launched international membership level and International Committee is comprised of large, medium, and small companies, and was created to ensure the Association’s external a airs team maintains the necessary responsiveness and resources it needs to address both legislative / regulatory issues and market access initiatives in dozens of countries.

“Our advocacy work in U.S. state capitols and in Washington, DC remains robust, with legislative and regulatory activity at an all-time high,” noted Pasierb. “But our team has also been involved in a signi cant amount of advocacy and market access e orts in over 40 nations, including India, Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia and the EU. e International Committee enables us to continually push back on threats and seize new prospects on a global level by providing our team with direct input as we align sta priorities with member needs.”

Notably in 2021, e Toy Association led an international, multi-stakeholder e ort to defeat an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) proposal for a standard on marketing to children which would have layered redundant requirements on top of e ective regulatory structures already observed by the industry. anks to the Association’s advocacy and global outreach urging others to weigh in against the proposal, ISO did not gain enough votes to support development of the standard, saving countless hours and resources of all stakeholders from having to develop an unnecessary guidance when strong and e ective standards already exist.

As part of its ongoing e orts to assure open markets between nations and maximize product availability and choice, e Toy Association also submitted comments to the O ce of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding foreign trade barriers impacting the U.S. toy industry’s ability to export safe toys to international markets. International alignment and harmonization of risk-based standards continues to provide a high level of con dence that toys in any market can be trusted as safe for use by children – an important point made by the Association for the USTR’s annual National Trade Estimate Repot on Foreign Trade Barriers for 2022.

“Despite operating within an extremely volatile business environment due to the ongoing pandemic and supply chain disruptions, the U.S. toy industry has remained committed to ensuring the maintenance and application of strict product safety standards and regulations around the globe,” stated Pasierb in the Association’s comments. e external a airs team also provided comments regarding Brazil Ordinance 302 and made recommendations for clari cations on small parts, projectiles, toys with lasers, cords and elastics, and other sections of the ordinance, and successfully convinced several foreign markets (including Jamaica and Colombia) to accept the ASTM F963 standard for toys, helping to reduce trade barriers and testing costs for members wishing to sell in these markets.

As e Toy Association continues to forecast and advocate on global issues impacting the toy & play community, members are invited to join the International Committee. e group meets at least once a month (and more frequently as needed) and convenes annually to agree on the overall strategy and budgeting for the Association’s international advocacy activity.

To learn more or to join the committee, contact Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external a airs (edesmond@toyassociation.org).

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