Advertising requirement for biocidal products
The UK has left the EU, new rules from January 2021
The transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page provides information about the advertising requirements under the EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR), which apply from 1 September 2013.
The requirements relating to advertising are laid down in Article 72 of EU BPR. These requirements apply to all adverts for biocidal products from 1 September 2013.
The advertising requirements of EU BPR do not apply to the packaging and labelling of biocidal products, unless the packaging in also part of an advert. There are specific requirements for packaging and labelling laid down in Article 69 of EU BPR . The packaging and labelling requirements do not come into force until biocidal products are authorised under EU BPR .
What are the advertisement requirements under EU BPR?
The advertisement requirement in Article 72 of the EU BPR state that:
“any advertisement for biocidal products shall, in addition to complying with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, include the sentences ‘Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.’ The sentences shall be clearly distinguishable and legible in relation to the whole advertisement.
Advertisers may replace the word ‘biocides’ in the prescribed sentences with a clear reference to the product-type being advertised.
Advertisements for biocidal products shall not refer to the product in a manner which is misleading in respect of the risks from the product to human health, animal health or the environment or its efficacy. In any case, the advertising of a biocidal product shall not mention ‘low-risk biocidal product’, ‘non-toxic’, ‘harmless’, ‘natural’, ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘animal friendly’ or any similar indication.”
What is considered an advertisement?
An advertisement is defined in Article 3 of EU BPR as “a means of promoting the sale or use of biocidal products by printed, electronic or other media.”
It is HSE understanding that an advertisement is any communication aimed at potential customers or users that identifies and promotes the sale or use of a product. The advert could be pictorial, broadcast or recorded and includes any media that is stored or transmitted by electronic means, including radio, TV and the internet. Promotional brochures and mailings would also be included whether individually addressed or not. A Safety Data Sheet would not normally be considered to be an advert. If you are unsure if your communication could be considered to be an advertisement, consult with your local Trading Standards office.
Do I have to use the word Biocides?
The word ‘biocides’ in the sentence "Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use " may be replaced by the product-type of the biocidal product being advertised for example "Use disinfectants safely. Always read the label and product information before use" or "Use Insecticides safely. Always read the label and product information before use".
Who enforces the Advertisement Requirements?
The responsibility for enforcing the advertising requirements in the UK lies with Trading Standards Officers.
Can my advertisement say my biocidal product is safe or harmless?
No. The requirements in Article 72 of EU BPR clearly state that the advertisement claims you make must not mislead in respect of the risks of that biocidal product to humans, animals or the environment or efficacy, and specifically prohibit the use of words such as ‘harmless’ or similar terms.
Can my advertisement say my biocidal product is natural or environmentally/animal friendly?
No. The requirements in Article 72 of the EU BPR clearly state that the advertisement claims you make must not mislead in respect of the risks of that biocidal product to humans, animals or the environment or efficacy, and specifically prohibit the use of words such as natural, environmentally friendly, animal friendly or any similar terms.
If my product is currently approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR), what phrase do I need to put on my adverts?
COPR approval holders are aware that under COPR they must include on adverts the general warning: "Always read the label. Use pesticides safely".
COPR approval holders must continue to comply with the advertising requirements of COPR but must also comply with the advertising requirements of EU BPR .
This means that the phrase laid out in Article 72 of EU BPR "Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use." must be used, noting that the word ‘biocides’ may be replaced by the product-type of the biocidal product being advertised.
COPR Approval holders, if they wish, may use both the COPR and EU BPR phrases. However, HSE are taking a pragmatic approach and COPR Approval holders can use the EU BPR phrase instead of using both.
For example, a wood preservative currently approved under COPR would require the phrase on any advertisement for the product:
- "Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use." or;
- "Use wood preservatives safely. Always read the label and product information before use."
COPR Approval holders must ensure that the correct phrase is used along with the other advertising requirements of the EU BPR.