Critical situation permit

Under Article 55 (1) of the GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR), HSE can issue critical situation permits to a company, UK Government Department, or individual that allow for the temporary and controlled use of biocidal products in Great Britain (GB) in the case of a danger to:

  • public health
  • animal health
  • the environment

where that danger cannot be controlled by any other means.

Critical situation permits would typically be issued for products:

  • containing active substances that are not currently approved under GB BPR
  • where the active is already approved, but the proposed use does not meet the conditions for national or simplified authorisation

In any case, it must be demonstrated that the situation cannot be controlled by any other means therefore, before applying for a critical situation permit you should have first considered whether your needs can be met by:

  • using a product with an existing GB BPR product authorisation – check the list of UK authorised biocidal products to see what products are authorised, what pests they can be used against, and where they can be used
  • amending an existing GB BPR product authorisation to cover the use you need – to do this you will need to contact the authorisation holder of the product
  • applying for a national or simplified authorisation for a new product containing an approved active substance – check the GB List of Active Substances to see what active substances are approved for the different product types


Before you apply for a critical situation permit you should be able to demonstrate all of the following:

  • that there is a danger to one or more of the following:
    • public health (in the broad sense of protecting human health)
    • animal health
    • the environment
  • that there are no suitable or practical alternatives to the proposed product – practical alternatives could include:
    • using more than one product in combination
    • non-chemical methods of control
  • that the benefits of using the product in the situation outweigh the risks associated with its use
  • that alternative methods are being sought to control the danger, should it arise again

We strongly recommend contacting us to discuss your situation in further detail before submitting an application.

How to apply

The prospective permit holder or company acting on their behalf must submit, in English, a completed application form to [email protected] – companies may wish to mark emails as appropriate eg confidential. Please note that your application form may be returned if it is incomplete.

Only the application form should be submitted by email. All other relevant documentation / data must be submitted via the HSE Secure File Sharing Service, which may include:

  • evidence that you have previously contacted HSE in relation to the application
  • a letter of access to the data / assessment for a currently authorised biocidal product
  • data to support risk assessments
  • a product SDS (safety data sheet)
  • a product label

Using the HSE Secure File Sharing Service

  • Once we have received and processed your application form, you will be sent a link to upload the files associated with the relevant application – please do not use the link to upload files related to other applications.
  • Links will be sent out Monday – Friday and are valid for 5 working days – if the link expires before you are able to upload your files, please email [email protected] to request a new link.
  • Please ensure you comply with the terms and conditions of using the HSE Secure File Sharing Service – these will be included in the email alongside the link.
  • Please check the spam settings on your email account to ensure our emails are not going to your junk folder.

What HSE will do

After receiving your application HSE will:

  • conduct a brief initial check of the information to confirm that it meets the requirements for the application type
  • estimate how much it may cost ("initial estimated fee") to process the application based on the information provided
  • issue an invoice to the applicant which must be paid within 30 days of the date of the invoice – failure to pay the requested fees will result in your permit being withheld
  • process the application as quickly as possible – the processing time is likely to be much quicker if you discuss the details of your application with us before you submit
  • send the applicant a copy of the draft permit which includes the conditions HSE intends to set for the use
  • take into account the applicant's comments, where relevant
  • assign a permit number to the biocidal product
  • issue a signed permit, which will include details of the conditions assigned to that permit

What you should do

You should:

  • comply with the conditions in the permit
  • provide the details of all the conditions in the permit to any person(s) you supply the product to – this could be via the product label or a leaflet provided with the product
  • note your permit expiry date – permits can initially be granted for up to 180 days with the possibility of extending for an additional 550 days (be aware, an extension is not automatic or guaranteed and a case will need to be made to the relevant Secretary of State and/or Devolved Authority).

Things to note

  • Permits cannot be amended once granted – a new application for an additional permit will be required for any additional uses, locations etc not listed in the existing permit.
  • The extension of permits for an additional 550 days is not automatic – if required, you should contact us as soon as possible.
  • Due to the fact that the derogations are time-limited, you should take positive action to either:
    • seek full product authorisation under GB BPR; or
    • develop an alternative method of dealing with the problem

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Updated 2021-07-19