SOME 44.3 percent of imported toys coming into the Balearics between January and July from countries outside the European Union were subjected to physical examination by customs officials.

Throughout Spain the average figure for the examination of imported toys is 2.2 percent. According to experts from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Taxation, speaking yesterday, a total of 70 consignments of toys came to the islands from countries outside the European Union, of which 31 were subjected to physical examination by customs officials to confirm that they were legal and did not present any kind of danger to human health and safety.

With regard to documentary control, the Ministry said that this was done on 30 percent of the toys entering the Balearics, which means 21 consignments. Throughout the whole of Spain this type of control is only done on some six percent of imported toys.

The Ministry's experts complained that the control and safety procedures are not sufficient in Spanish customs posts, which at times makes them a real “sieve” for all types of merchandise coming from outside the EU. The experts said that this is also flaunting the EU law which demands that an average of five percent of imported goods are checked.

The Ministry's expert team also consider it “irresponsible” that the Customs Department allows “the controls to be avoided” (whether they be physical, identification or documentary), which should be carried out by law on various products, especially when they are articles destined for children.

According to the existing law, each of the consignments should be subjected to three types of control: documentary, which consists of the examination of certificates or other accompanying documents; identity, based on the agreement of the documents with a visual inspection made of the product; and finally physical.

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