Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR): The basics

The Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR) is one of the laws that controls biocides in Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) to make sure that when they are used properly, they do not harm people, pets or the wider environment. COPR is an older law that only applies to some types of biocidal products. The other newer laws that control biocides are:

Those laws apply to a wider range of biocidal products so to help companies with the change, some products can continue to be regulated under COPR while the active substance is still being evaluated under:

Eventually, COPR will become redundant and all relevant biocidal products (those in the scope of COPR and those that are not in the scope of COPR) will have moved over to be regulated under:

Some examples of the types of products that are in the scope of GB BPR and EU BPR but not in the scope of COPR include disinfectants and insect repellents applied directly to human skin. Find out more about the types of products that are not in the scope of COPR.

COPR product types

Products that are in the scope of COPR and therefore need approval usually fit into the product types in the following table. Please note there may be other product types covered by COPR but, to date, no products have been approved for those uses.


Product type

Description

Antifouling products

Products applied to the hulls of boats and ships, oilrigs, fishnets, fish farming equipment and other man-made structures.
Used to prevent the growth of algae, seaweed, mussels and barnacles.

Aquatic algaecides

Products used for the control of algae and blanket weed in ponds and lakes (including home garden / ornamental), for non-plant protection purposes only.

Aquatic molluscicides

Products used for the control of slugs and snails in ponds and lakes (including home garden / ornamental), for non-plant protection purposes only.

Avicides / Bird stupefying baits

Products used for the control of nuisance / pest birds.

Biocidal paints

Products painted onto internal surfaces such as ceilings and walls to prevent growth of fungi, mould and algae.

Insect repellents

Products used to repel biting and stinging insect pests, such as mosquitoes, gnats, wasps or nuisance flying insects such as midges.
Includes those that are applied directly to animals but not those that are applied directly to human skin.

Insecticides

Products used for the control of insects and arthropods, which are either a public health concern (such as cockroaches) or a nuisance (such as ants).

Surface biocide

Products used to remove or prevent undesirable growth such as lichen, mould or mildew on external and internal surfaces.
They are applied to masonry, brickwork, tiles etc.

Vertebrate repellents

Products used to repel vertebrates such as cats and dogs from fouling in and around domestic gardens.

Wood preservatives

Products used to protect wood from wood-destroying or wood-disfiguring insects and fungi.

Borderlines with other law

Moss

The control of moss is regulated under the GB Plant Protection Products Regulation (GB PPPR). Therefore claims against moss cannot be accepted under COPR and any products making claims against moss will also need to be authorised under GB PPPR (or EU PPPR in NI).

Updated 2020-12-18