The information here will help you decide if your product:
The ‘What to do next’ section of this page will direct you to helpful information if your product falls within the scope of one or both pieces of legislation above.
More information about how biocide regulation is enforced in the UK.
Please note that the EU BPR only applies from 1st September 2013, if you have a question on the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC)/UK Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 that applied until the 31st August 2013, please contact us.
If you want to place a product which may be biocidal on the UK market, you must first determine whether it falls within the scope of the above legislation. To do this, you need to understand the definition of a ‘biocidal product’; which is defined in the EU BPR as:
“ - any substance or mixture, in the form in which it is supplied to the user, consisting of, containing or generating one or more active substances, with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action,
- any substance or mixture, generated from substances or mixtures which do not themselves fall under the first indent, to be used with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action
A treated article that has a primary biocidal function shall be considered a biocidal product.”
This definition is broader than the old BPD and specifically includes in-situ generation of biocides (such as ozone generated from the air) and articles that are primarily biocidal, (such as disinfecting wipes).
The EU BPR also introduces specific controls on articles that have been treated with biocides but which are not themselves biocidal products (such as wood that has been treated with a wood preservative to protect the wood itself from decay) and more details are available on the Treated Articles webpage.
The scope of the EU BPR is very wide, with four main groups containing 22 different product types. The four main groups are:
The EU BPR excludes:
A full list of the exempting legislation / Directives can be found in Article 2 of EU Biocides Regulation .
However, where a product has dual use, for example as a biocidal product to kill insects in the home and as a plant protection product to kill insects on garden plants, then the requirements of both sets of legislation will apply. The European Commission is drawing-up guidance on specific issues relating to the borderlines for products and we will include links on this page as they become available.
The Fifth Review Regulation provides a derogation for food and feedstuffs used as repellents or attractants, which may be applicable in some circumstances.
For most products, the question of scope is relatively straightforward. However, when the scope is unclear, these issues are discussed at EU level. When the EU Commission finalises decisions on scope issues, these are included in the Manual of Decisions. The Manual should be regarded as a living document; it is not exhaustive and further decisions will be added in the course of time as they are agreed between the Commission and the member states.
There are also borderline documents available on specific scope issues that are relevant for example the borderlines between biocides and the exempting legislation.
Both the borderline documents and the Manual of Decisions were originally drawn up for the BPD, and whilst many of the decisions will remain valid for the EU BPR, if you have found an entry in these document that you believe is relevant to your product, you should check that entry is still valid by contacting us.
If, after considering scope, you think your product may come under the exempting legislation, you need to check with the relevant UK authority which regulates that legislation for confirmation. If the authority considers your product to be outside the scope of the legislation they regulate, then contact HSE. HSE will then consider if the product is within the scope the EU BPR.
Some of the products covered under the EU BPR also fall within the scope of the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR). COPR covers various pest control products, which contain active substances that are not yet fully regulated under the EU BPR.
If yours is a biocidal product – therefore falling within the scope of the EU BPR – you will also need to consider if your product falls within the scope of COPR.
HSE is the regulatory authority for COPR, covering pesticides as defined as:
There is a list of exemptions where COPR does not apply. The main exemptions are
However you should read the exemption in the Regulation to see if you product is exempted from the requirements of COPR.
If your product is within the scope of COPR, you will need to apply to HSE for an approval before your product can be advertised, sold, supplied, stored or used in the UK.
Click on any of the following links, as applicable, for further guidance on what you must do to comply with the law: