Nearly 11,000 counterfeit toys and more than 147,000 pyrotechnic devices dangerous to health and safety were seized in Bizkaia

The Spanish Civil Guard, in a joint operation with the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency, within the framework of the powers that are inherent to the State Fiscal Protection under the tutelage of the Customs Department and II.EE., have carried out two inspections in two commercial premises located in the Artunduaga industrial estate in the town of Basauri, in order to prevent the illegal sale of counterfeit toys and fireworks.

In the “TREBEJO” operation, the civil guards, specifically members of the Fiscal and Border Patrol (PAFIF) of Bizkaia, in the first inspection, have found nearly 7,400 counterfeit toys prepared for sale and some 1,700 imported toys, which They had not paid the corresponding taxes at Customs, so the agents proceeded to intervene immediately.

In the establishment, in addition, the members of the Inspection Team of the Arms and Explosives Intervention of the Bizkaia Command, discovered stored nearly 140,000 units of pyrotechnic devices of categories F1, F2 and F3. In the same way, another 7,400 pyrotechnic articles of the F1 category prepared for sale and without the proper authorization for their possession and marketing were found in the area for sale to the public.

The manager of the premises, due to these facts, faces a crime against industrial property, a complaint for smuggling and two others for serious infractions of the Organic Law of Citizen Security on the Regulation of Pyrotechnic Articles and Cartridges, lacking permits regulations for its possession and sale. The amount of the fines he faces can be up to 30,000 euros each.

The intervened pyrotechnics had to be marketed by authorized establishments since, due to their danger, adequate knowledge is required on the part of the sellers and the places of sale have to meet certain security measures for their storage.

In the second premises inspected and located in the same area, the agents of the Civil Guard of Bizkaia found more than 1,600 toys in their warehouse, for which they had not paid the necessary tariffs for their commercialization in the European Union, I feel withdrawn and intervened immediately and drawing up record-complaint for violation of smuggling to the regent of commerce, for its referral to the Regional Customs Unit and II.EE. of the Basque Country.

The seized toys posed a risk to consumers, especially children, as they lack regulatory controls and fail to comply with toy safety regulations. In addition, they represent an obvious risk to the health and safety of minors as they are made with poor quality materials.

Categories of fireworks

The regulation of pyrotechnic articles and ammunition includes various categories of pyrotechnic devices and depending on how they are classified, certain requirements are required for their possession, sale, acquisition or consumption. Pyrotechnic articles for domestic use are classified in categories F1, F2, F3 and F4. With the exception of category F4, whose use is exclusively for experts due to its high danger, the rest can be used by any user, with limitations such as age and places of use.

Where to buy fireworks

The purchase of fireworks must be made at authorized points of sale, from suppliers with a proven guarantee and always in accordance with current legislation, thus avoiding any danger. These authorized premises have facilities equipped with the ideal conservation conditions, something that cannot be guaranteed by street vendors or others, which are prohibited from selling to the public.

What to look for when buying a toy?

The authorities recommend the consumer to check if the toy has the CE marking in sight, necessary for its sale. The CE marking is a European mark for certain groups or industrial products, including toys.

Other aspects to take into account will be the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the child’s age and ability to function naturally while using the toy.

These items, if counterfeited, carry a high risk to the health and safety of children. Counterfeits, by not meeting safety standards, may be made with toxic materials or parts not indicated for the age at which the toy is intended. It is recommended to acquire these objects in trusted stores.