India on Monday eased the ban on import of Chinese toys provided they conform to international safety norms.
India, which had banned the import of Chinese toys on January 23 for six months on grounds of public health, today said imports could be allowed if the consignments were accompanied by certificates of international quality assurance.
AdvertisementAccording to a public notice by the Commerce Ministry, the import of toys from China will be allowed only if they conform to the health and safety standards prescribed in "ISO 8124 (parts I - III) or IS 9873 (parts I - III)".
India's move to ban Chinese products was also deemed compatible with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on consumer protection.
Government officials claimed the Chinese toys contained lead. This element, if ingested, can cause various ills like brain hemorrhage, anemia, learning problems and slow growth.
In 2007, the world's leading toy maker Mattel recalled over 21 million Chinese-made toys worldwide due to excessive levels of lead paint and other unsafe components.
More than 4,000 Chinese toy companies closed last year due to waning demand and tighter safety standards, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Feb 7.
This had led to an outcry from Chinese manufacturers and public officials, who claimed that the ban was unfounded.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce had also issued a statement on the issue last month saying, "China hopes that in a period during which the world economy faces grim challenges, India takes cautious and prudent trade remedy measures, otherwise bilateral trade relations could be seriously impacted".
Meanwhile, the Indian toy dealers were also running out of stock and prices of toys soared by 30 percent to 100 percent.
The toy market in India is estimated at Rs 2,500 crore while the volume-driven, price-competitive Chinese toys are estimated to control 70 percent of the global toys market.