Biocides enforcement

Reporting an incident or concern

If you have a concern about non-compliance with the laws on biocides or are aware of an incident relating to the use of biocides, you should report it to the appropriate enforcing authority. If you aren't sure whether the incident or concern involves a biocide go to our introductory page on biocides.

The right enforcing authority for concerns about non-compliance with other, non-biocide, laws that HSE oversees may be different.

For other chemicals laws see:

For other health and safety concerns such as working at height, manual handling, welfare facilities and use of vehicles at work, find out how to report a health and safety issue.

Reporting biocides issues to HSE

If HSE is the appropriate enforcing authority for your concern about biocides, you can report it to the Enforcement Team in our Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) directly. There is no need to fill in any forms, just email us at [email protected]. To ensure we can consider the complaint fully, please:

Please note: We will not investigate your complaint if you choose to remain anonymous and tell us that you do not want HSE to disclose that a complaint has been received, unless a vulnerable person is involved.

How we enforce

If you contact us about a biocides incident or concern we:

HSE may not be able to investigate everything that is reported to us – we have to prioritise according to the severity of hazard and risk of harm to persons, animals and the environment. We will focus the majority of our resource on:

As part of an inspection or investigation we may:

More information on the principles of HSE's investigations can be found on our central enforcement pages.

Offences and penalties

It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with, or cause another person to fail to comply with:

Other offences include:

It’s important to note that GB BPR and EU BPR apply in parallel with COPR - this means that compliance with COPR does not excuse a failure to comply with GB BPR or EU BPR, and vice versa.

Additionally, GB BPR, EU BPR and COPR apply in parallel with a number of other laws, including other general chemicals law such as REACH, CLP and General Product Safety (GPS) Regulations - this means that compliance with GB BPR, EU BPR and COPR does not excuse a failure to comply with another law, and vice versa.

Where HSE determines it’s appropriate to prosecute a person for an offence, they may be tried:

If a prosecution results in a conviction, then the court will determine what penalty is appropriate in the circumstances. The maximum penalties available are set out in law and vary depending on whether:

The Courts will usually fine an offender, although there is often no limit on the amount of fine that can be awarded, and in certain circumstances a Court may sentence an individual to up to 2 years in prison (as well as, or instead of, a fine).

Notices and prosecutions

Details of HSE's successful prosecutions and the notices we have issued are published on our website in the register of prosecutions and notices.

Updated 2021-08-03