Article 3(3) decisions on scope

The GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR) covers a wide range of products which control harmful organisms in different ways. In most cases, it is clear to both HSE and the company involved that a product should, or should not, be regulated under GB BPR – whether the product is within the ‘scope’ of the regulations. Take the first steps to finding out if your product might be a biocide.

Sometimes there will be complex issues where having a specific decision on scope would help industry understand how the regulations apply to their kind of product. GB BPR provides a way for the Secretary of State (working with the Scottish and Welsh administrations) to issue a legal decision on such scope issues – these are commonly called ‘Article 3(3) Decisions’ as that is the relevant article in the legal text.

Existing EU Article 3(3) decisions that had been taken before the UK left the EU were carried over into GB law and continue to apply in GB.


Questions on scope can cover issues such as:

  • does a product only work mechanically or physically – products that have no chemical or biological activity are not within the scope of GB BPR, for example a ‘rat trap’ might well be out of scope, but a ‘rat poison’ will be in scope. That chemical or biological action does not need to be directly acting on the harmful organism. A product with a chemical or biological action that forms part of a chain that leads to the control of the organism can be in scope, even if the final direct action against the organism itself is physical.
  • is a product a ‘biocidal productrsquo;' or a‘treated article’ – some treated articles will be regulated as biocidal products because their main function or purpose is to control harmful organisms
  • whether a substance should be classed as a ‘nanomaterial’

Existing Article 3(3) decisions

The table below lists the Article 3(3) decisions that are valid in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) which have either been made by the Secretary of State since the UK left the EU, or that had been taken whilst the UK was part of the EU and were carried over as GB law.

Decision Link to details
Mosquitoes non-naturally infected with Wolbachia used for vector control purposes Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1623
Use of paraffin oil for coating eggs to control the population size of nesting birds Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/1943
Horse rug impregnated with permethrin used for controlling nuisance insects in the environment of the horse Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/903
Propan-2-ol containing products used for hand disinfection Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/904
Product consisting of dried lavender blossoms contained in a pad placed on the market to repel moths Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/678
Anti-viral tissue impregnated with citric acid Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/1985
Polydimethylsiloxane-based formulation placed on the market to control mosquitoes Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/655
Bacterial cultures intended to reduce organic solids and to be placed on the market for that purpose Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/646
Cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds incorporated in paints and coatings Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/411

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Updated 2024-05-14