An importer and his company have been fined over £35,000 in total for supplying unsafe toys, including one item that contained harmful, toxic chemicals.
Memon Imports Ltd and director Hamza Memon of Wellesley Road, Ilford, were found guilty of 12 breaches each of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011, one offence of supplying a toy that contained a banned substance contrary to the Restriction of chemicals Enforcement Regulations (REACH) 2008 and one offence in relation to supplying a forged test certificate under REACH.
At a sentencing at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on 19 February 2019, Mr Memon was fined £960 and a victim surcharge of £48, totalling £1,008. Memon Imports was ordered to pay £8,000 in fines, a £100 victim surcharge and costs of £26,604.42, totalling £34,704.42. Mr Memon pleaded not guilty to the 14 charges he faced, but no-one appeared to represent the company.
The court heard how Enfield Council officers had been investigating the director and company for three years. Trading Standards officers bought a number of products labelled with the name Memon Imports Ltd from a Sam 99p Ltd store in Edmonton which were sent for independent testing.
Meanwhile, the defendants had failed, despite several requests, to supply technical documents for various toys including a Speed Car, Racer Speed Zone, Doctor Kit, Dart Blaster and Set Polizia. The latter, which contained a toy gun with suction darts was found to have excessive levels of Phthalates, a chemical that is classified as a CMR - carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction – and particularly harmful to boys.
The defendants were found to have inadequate systems in place to ensure the toys they were importing had been tested to the relevant European Standards and were safe. They also supplied a forged test certificate to Trading Standards during the course of the investigation.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Guney Dogan, said: "The protection of children from unsafe goods is a high priority for Enfield Council and we will continue to monitor local traders on a regular basis to ensure they, and the importers who supply them, are complying with the law. Importers have a duty to ensure all products they import are safe to place onto the market."
"I am delighted that Enfield Council's Trading Standards and Legal teams have helped to stop these toys from being sold – toys that could have had a severe impact on the health of young children.”