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Biocides: Find the right enforcement authority

If your biocides concern relates to a company based in, or an incident that has occurred in, Northern Ireland please visit the HSE NI website.

If the incident / concern involves… …it should be reported to…

people – where someone has carried out a biocidal treatment in your home as part of their work, for example, a professional pest controller

HSE - Reporting an incident or concern

people – where someone has carried out a biocidal treatment in your home not as part of their work, for example, yourself or another member of the general public

your local authority

people – other than the scenarios described above

either HSE - Reporting an incident or concern or your local authority depending on the type of place involved –
see a full list of places and who has the enforcing responsibility

animals, including wildlife, livestock and pets / companion animals

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
Telephone: 0800 321 600

the environment

rail networks

Office of Rail and Road

authorisation or approval
concern that a product does not have the necessary authorisation or approval for example

HSE - Reporting an incident or concern

trade-to-trade sale
wholesale supply

HSE - Reporting an incident or concern

retail sale, including online and in physical stores

your local Trading Standards office

advertisement
online, newspapers / magazines etc

your local Trading Standards office

If you’re still not sure which authority you should report to, don’t worry! All of the authorities work together, so we will make sure your report gets to the right place.

Other ways the authorities work together include:

Enforcement laws

The responsibilities of the different authorities described in the table above come from general health and safety law working in combination with more specific enforcement laws for COPR and GB BPR.

General health and safety law

GB BPR specific law

COPR specific law

These laws also define a number of offences and the powers that the authorities may use. Find out more about offences and powers.

Schemes and activities

HSE also runs a number of schemes and activities focussed on the effects of the use of biocidal products in particular areas.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS)

The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) investigates the death and illness of wildlife, livestock, pets (usually cats and dogs) and beneficial invertebrates (usually honey bees, bumble bees and earthworms) that are suspected to be caused by poisoning from biocides (or pesticides).

WIIS is primarily a monitoring tool that provides additional information to HSE, which may prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents. However, enforcement action may also be taken where there is clear evidence of a breach of the law.

Find out more about WIIS.

Adverse effects reporting

Action for approval / authorisation holders

COPR and GB BPR require product approval and authorisation holders to report new information about products and active substances that may affect their approval or authorisation. You should report to HSE without delay if you become aware of:

You should include as much information as possible in your reports, including:

The information reported to HSE may prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents. However, enforcement action may also be taken where there is clear evidence of a breach of the law.

To ensure that HSE is receiving this information, we conduct an annual survey where approval / authorisation holders are required to tell us about any information they have received concerning the adverse effects described above.

Please note: this does not mean you should wait for us to write to you! If you have received information concerning adverse effects, you must tell us without delay.

The results of the survey are compiled into an anonymous report – approval / authorisation holders and products will not be identified. For the latest report, or reports from previous years, please contact us.

Updated 2021-01-04