Conditions of approval and consents under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR)

It is an offence to advertise, sell, supply, store or use a non-approved product or use an approved product in a manner that does not comply with the conditions of Approval or Consents.


Approval is granted following an application from a manufacturer, formulator, importer, or distributor (or in certain circumstances a user).

The Approval details the specific conditions which are individual to that product such as formulation or use. The product may have various trade names, and these will also be laid out in the Approval.

The Approval can be revoked, suspended, or amended due to safety considerations or amended at the request of the approval holder.


The law sets general conditions known as "Consents" (GB and NI). These apply in addition to the product-specific conditions of Approval.

Employers should ensure employees, who may be required to sell, supply, store or use the product, receive appropriate instruction, training, and guidance.


An advertisement is any printed, pictorial, broadcast or recorded advertisement and includes any advertisement which is stored or transmitted by electronic means.

An advertisement for the product must include

  • name of each active substance (as identified in the Approval) in the product.
  • If a range of products are being advertised the active substances in each product must be identifiable
    • general warning phrase like “Always read the label. Use pesticides safely” or the equivalent BPR warning phrase
    • when required by a condition of Approval, the statement of any special degree of risk to humans, in particular vulnerable groups, animals or the environment

Any statement or warning shall be

  • for printed or pictorial advertisement - clearly presented separately from any other text
  • for an advert broadcast or recorded or stored or transmitted by electronic means - clearly spoken or shown separately

An advertisement should not contain any claim for safety which is not permitted by the labelling conditions. It shall only be advertised in accordance with the conditions of Approval such as the approved uses, area of uses or user type.

In addition to the requirements of the law, HSE does not endorse any products, therefore your advertisements must not include any statements such as 'HSE approved'.

Sale, Supply and Storage

The product must be sold, supplied, and stored in its original container with the product label. Never decant it into drinks bottles or other similar containers.

You must be competent for the duties you are called upon to perform and take all reasonable precautions to protect humans, animals, and the environment, when selling, supply and storing the product.


You must be competent for the duties you are called upon to perform and take all reasonable precautions to protect humans, animals, and the environment, when using the product.

You must only apply the product to the land, structure, material, or other area intended to be treated.

You should not combine or mix two or more products unless you can comply with both:

  • the conditions of Approval for each product
  • the label of the products (which was sold, supplied or otherwise marketed to you)

Aerial Application

You, your employer or your contractor, should not apply the product by aerial application unless you have a permit, authorisation or certificate under the Air Navigation Order. The conditions of Approval for the product must specifically include the intended aerial application.

Additional requirements also apply to products applied by aerial application.

Please contact HSE before applying for COPR approval.

Training requirements

The law does not require you to have a 'certificate of competence' – this is required for professional plant protection products and does not apply to biocides. However, some products may include specific training or knowledge requirements as part of their approval conditions.

There are many courses available in the UK on this subject. These are run by private consultants or firms, trade associations and training bodies and HSE is not able to recommend any specific training courses.

Is this page useful?

Updated 2023-11-17Date -->