Toy drones offered for sale in the European Union (EU) will soon have to comply with new rules for drones in addition to Directive 2009/48/EC, the so-called European Toy Safety Directive.
On June 11, 2019, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published rules to ensure drones are used safely and securely. From June 2020 drones will need to comply with the rules laid down in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 and Commission Implementing Regulations (EU) 2019/947.
Under these rules most toy drones will be classified as a C0 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), if they meet the following specifications:
- A maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 250g, including payload
- A maximum speed in level flight of 19 m/s
- A maximum attainable height above the take-off point limited to 120 m
Drones in C0 category, the ‘open’ category, do not require prior authorization.
If the toy drone does not conform to the criteria above, for example, it has a higher take-off mass, a higher speed or a higher attainable height, or if it is equipped with a camera, then it may need authorization because it will be classified differently.
The new EU rules define three categories of UAS:
- ‘Open’ - category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, does not require prior authorization by a competent authority or a declaration by the UAS operator. This category includes three subcategories - A1, A2 and A3
- ‘Specific’ - category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, requires authorization by a competent authority before the operation takes place, taking into account the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except for certain standard scenarios where a declaration by the operator is sufficient or when the operator holds a light UAS operator certificate (LUC) with the appropriate privileges
- ‘Certified’ - category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, requires the certification of the UAS, a licensed remote pilot and an operator approved by the competent authority, in order to ensure an appropriate level of safety
The A1 subcategory of ‘open’ UAS operation includes
toy drones identified as C0. These must be marked with the appropriate symbol:
This UA class symbol needs to be at least 5mm high and it must be affixed to the drone and its packaging. It also shall appear in the instructions for use.
Stakeholders should be aware all drones must also comply with CE-mark provisions like: CE-mark EC Declaration of Compliance, name and address, and technical documentation. They must also carry a unique serial number to allow their identification.
Drones in the subcategory A1, with a MTOM of less than 250g, including payload, can continue to be operated when they have been placed on the market before July 1, 2022.
SGS EU Toy Directive Services
SGS offers a wide range of services to ensure that products comply with the EU Toy Safety Directive. They offer training, safety/risk assessment, technical documentation check, labelling review, testing according to harmonized standards, SVHC screening, inspections and audits. They have the world’s largest network of toy experts and testing facilities, including around 20 toy laboratories and three 3 EU Notified Bodies (France, Germany and Netherlands). Learn more about SGS’s EU Toy Directive Services.
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