New Laws and Regulations November 2018

Kama kawa, new month new laws.

Safer Children’s toys

In an effort to make children’s toys safer, the EU has been slowly lowering the limits allowable in many toys. Last month, we saw the limits for lead reduced from 13.5 milligrams to only 2 milligrams of lead per kilogram of solid substance e.g. chalk and from 3.4  to 0.5 milligrams for liquids e.g. finger paints.

This month will see the limits of two substances introduced. From 4th November, the limits for phenol will also be reduced. Phenol is used to make bath toys or in soap bubbles. Exposure to phenol is believed to result in genetic mutation.

On 26th November, the limits for bisphenol will come into effect. Exposure to bisphenol is believed to cause infertility.

Proper Recording of Same-Sex Marriages

Same sex marriages have been legal in Germany since October 2017 and have since been treated as heterosexual marriages, however an issue at the registry office is yet to catch up.

While entering a marriage into the marriage register, it has only been possible to enter “husband” and “wife” in the listing. However, from November, 1st, couples registering their marriages will only encounter an entry labelled as “Spouse”.

Order of First Names can be Rearranged

If you have many first names and want to reorder them, then you can do so from this month onwards at the Standesamt. So if your name is Jane Mary but everyone calls you Mary, then you can have the name changed to Mary Jane.

This rule will however not apply to hyphenated first names nor allow removal or addition on names.

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