Your product will need to display certain labels, some mandatory and some recommended.
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission's Age Determination Guidelines
Age labeling provides parents and other consumers guidance for selecting proper toys for children. CPSC staff, therefore, encourages age labeling. However, age labeling must be accurate.
According to the CPSC website:
Children’s products that are designed or intended primarily for use by children ages 12 or younger must have distinguishing permanent marks (generally referred to as “tracking labels”) that are:
- Affixed to the product and its packaging and
- Provide certain identifying information.
All tracking label information should be visible and legible. All tracking labels must contain certain basic information, including:
Manufacturer or private labeler name.
Location and date of production of the product.
Detailed information on the manufacturing process, such as a batch or run number, or other identifying characteristics.
Any other information to facilitate ascertaining the specific source of the product.
In most instances, both the packaging and the product must be marked. However, the statute recognizes that this might not always be practicable. If a product is too small to be marked; the law’s legislative history recognizes that a product’s size is a primary consideration in determining if marking only the packaging is feasible.
If a toy is meant to be stored in a box or other packaging, such as games with boards and small game pieces; the board and the box should be marked in this instance; but the individual game pieces do not need to be marked.
Compliance with the tracking label requirement will help improve the effectiveness and response rates for future recalls. When a component has been identified as the source of a hazard or violation, the tracking label helps identify other products that may contain the same component.
For more information about labels on children’s toys, see Child Safety Protection Act (CSPA).
United States Customs & Border Patrol
According to their website:
Every article of foreign origin entering the United States must be legibly marked with the English name of the country of origin unless an exception from marking is provided for in the law.
The marking must be legible. This means it must be of an adequate size, and clear enough, to be read easily by a person of normal vision.
The marking should be located in a conspicuous place. It need not be in the most conspicuous place, but it must be where it can be seen with a casual handling of the article. Markings must be in a position where they will not be covered or concealed by subsequent attachments or additions. The marking must be visible without disassembling the item or removing or changing the position of any parts.
In summary, add “Made in China” to your box or wherever your manufacturer is located.
European Union Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC
Manufacturers shall ensure that their toys bear a type, batch, serial or model number or other element allowing their identification, or, where the size or nature of the toy does not allow it, that the required information is provided on the packaging or in a document accompanying the toy.
Manufacturers shall indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the address at which they can be contacted on the toy or, where that is not possible, on its packaging or in a document accompanying the toy. The address shall indicate a single point at which the manufacturer can be contacted.
The manufacturer shall mark the warnings in a clearly visible, easily legible and understandable and accurate manner on the toy, on an affixed label or on the packaging and, if appropriate, on the instructions for use which accompany the toy. Small toys which are sold without packaging shall have appropriate warnings affixed to them.
The warnings shall be preceded by the words ‘Warning’ or ‘Warnings’, as the case may be.
Warnings which determine the decision to purchase the toy, such as those specifying the minimum and maximum ages for users and the other applicable warnings set out in Annex V, shall appear on the consumer packaging or be otherwise clearly visible to the consumer before the purchase, including in cases where the purchase is made on-line.
European Union Standard EN71-1
Toys which are not intended for but might be dangerous for children under 36 months shall be accompanied by a warning, such as:
Warning. Not suitable for children under 36 months.
Warning. Not suitable for children under 3 years.
You also need to add a brief indication of the specific hazard, such as:
Warning. Not suitable for children under 36 months. Small parts.
Warning. Not suitable for children under 36 months. Long cord. Strangulation hazard.
The age warning shall be clearly legible at the point of sale of the product and shall appear either on the toy itself or on its packaging. The indication of the specific hazard may appear in a leaflet or in the instructions for use, instead of on the toy or on the packaging.
I would include both the written warning and symbol for maximum protection.
Here are some other labels you might consider putting on your box:
This symbol shows that you have officially registered your product with the US Copyright Office or the US Patent & Trademark Office. This symbol is used for both copyright and trademarked material.
This is not an official, legal symbol. Only the copyright symbol is official. The trademark symbol is often used incorrectly. What it really means is that you haven’t yet registered with the government.
All Rights Reserved
This is another non-official term. The phrase just basically means you are holding onto the rights provided to you by copyright laws. As opposed to owning the copyright, but letting others freely use it anyway. You do not need to legally declare this distinction.
Actual Components May Vary
No two batches of products will ever be identical, there will always be tiny inconsistencies. So this gives a fair warning to something that should already be universally understood. Might as well add the warning.
Adult Supervision Recommended
Adds a little extra protection. Might as well add.