On 13 October 2023, ASTM International has published a revised ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety ASTMF963-23 which will replace ASTM F963-17.

The revisions are mainly on the sections of Acoustic, Battery Accessibility, Expanding Materials, and Projectiles. Furthermore, the revisions also include the phthalate requirements of the Federal Regulation 16 CFR 1307 on accessible plasticized components.  Other revisions include tracking labels for toys with respective Federal regulations and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) policy, as well as other editorial changes.

In accordance with section 106(g) of Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), once ASTM International notifies the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revisions to ASTM F963, CPSC has up to 90 days to review and respond to the revisions, which is to accept or reject the revisions in part or whole.  If no objections are raised, the revisions will come to effective 180 days after the notification (expected in mid-April 2024).

Below shows some noticeable amendments:

Safety RequirementsAmendments
AcousticsClause 4.5
The use and the abuse tests for sound-producing toys intended for 8 to 14 years old was added. The requirements of use and abuse appropriate to 36 to 96 months old children are also going to be applied.
The statement also specifying the toy shall be tested to all applicable requirements if the toy has features that are fit into different categories. The most appropriate requirement shall be conform if the toy is not clearly fit in any categories.
New categories are as follow:
1.       Close-to-ear Toys
2.       Hand-Held Toys
3.       Rattles
4.       Stationary or Self-propelled Tabletop, Floor, or Crib Toys
5.       User-propelled Tabletop, Floor, or Crib Toys
6.       Push or Pull Toys
Toys using Explosive Action
Battery AccessibilityClause / Clause
The battery should not be accessible without using common household tools to access the battery(ies) for the toys intended for children less than 3 years old or with batteries fit completely within the specific small parts test cylinder.
A new requirement of battery accessibility was added which specified that the fastener shall remain attached to the toy or battery compartment cover if it is used to secure the battery compartment, before and after the abuse tests.
When use of specialty fastener (e.g. Torx, Hex) to secure the battery compartment and come with the tool should be comply with labelling in Clause 6.9
Clause 6.9
The instruction materials for toys that require specialized tools from the manufacturer or custom tool to access the batteries should advise caregivers to keep the tool for future use, store it out of reach of children, and make it clear that the tool is not a toy.
Expanding MaterialsClause
The toy contains small parts that are enclosed in an outer covering that is designed to be dissolved, opened, or broken by the child, revealing the inner expanding component are consider applicable.
If the components is distribute in an expanded state, but they are capable to shrink in size during storage, identity as re-expandable small parts are consider applicable.
Tracking LabelClause 5.1.2
New added requirement to align with CPSC requirement. Added requirement to in compliance with Section 14(a)(5) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (COSA, 15 U.S.C. §2063(a)(5))
ProjectilesClause 8.14.5
A detailed method for testing the kinetic energy of bows and arrows has been added, the test condition of the toys with the arrow with bent or stretch capable design has been added
Heavy ElementsClause 4.3.5
Materials that are the subject of exemptions listed in the most current version of 16 CFR 1500.88 are excluded from the lead-related requirements.
Materials that are the subject of determinations listed in the most current revision(s) of 16 CFR 1251 (for wood), 16 CFR 1252 (for engineered wood), 16 CFR 1253 (for unfinished manufactured fibres), or 16 CFR 1500.91 (for certain materials), as exempt from testing and certification requirements, are excluded from the requirements
PhthalatesClause 4.3.8
Revised to align with CPSC requirements.  Replaced the obsolete ASTM D3421 test method with the current CPSC-CH-C1001-09.4 test method.

Until the ASTM F963-23 is approved by the CPSC becomes the mandatory Direct Final Rule, the testing and certification of the toys manufactured shall be based on the current mandatory toy safety standard ASTM F963-17.