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Research and development into biocidal products and active substances

The GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR) allows for experimental testing for the purposes of research and development (R&D) into non-authorised biocidal products and non-approved active substances, such as:

Research and development may also include the experimental testing of a biocidal product outside of the uses that are already authorised under GB BPR.

In certain situations, HSE may need to place conditions on the testing under GB BPR or issue experimental permits under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR) before the testing can take place in Great Britain (GB).

Find out about conducting experimental testing in Northern Ireland (NI).

Action for experimenters

You can use our R&D flowchart to find out if you need to notify or apply to HSE. Each step in the flowchart is described in more detail below.

Step 1

If your testing involves vertebrates and the study report is intended, or has the potential, to be submitted to HSE as part of an application for active substance approval or product authorisation under GB BPR, you must first determine whether such studies have already been submitted to HSE. GB BPR prohibits the duplication of vertebrate studies which is expected to save costs and animal lives. Find out more about duplicate studies and what you need to do before testing with animals.

If you have confirmation from HSE that your proposed testing is not a duplicate, see step 2 next.

Step 2

Next you will need to check the status of the active substance(s) in your test formulation.

Your testing will fall under GB BPR if your test formulation fits either of the following options:

See Step 3a next.

Your testing will not fall under GB BPR if your test formulation fits either of the following options:

See Step 3b next.

Step 3a

If your testing falls under GB BPR, next you will need to consider whether it will involve or be likely to result in the release of the biocide into the environment.

If the answer is yes, you will need to notify HSE before you begin testing. Find out how to notify.

Please note, if your testing involves GMOs, you must first notify DEFRA before notifying HSE.

If the answer is no, you do not need to notify HSE before you begin testing but you must:

This information must be made available to HSE on request.

You should also be aware of the requirements of other laws that may apply such as:

Step 3b

If your testing does not fall under GB BPR, you will next need to determine whether your test formulation is in the scope of COPR.

If the answer is yes, you will need to apply to HSE for a permit before you begin testing. See Step 4 next.

If the answer is no, you do not need to notify or apply to HSE before you begin testing but you should be aware of the requirements of other laws that may apply such as:

Step 4

If your testing does not fall under GB BPR, but your test formulation is in the scope of COPR, next you will need to determine which type of permit you should apply for.

You should apply for an Automatic Experimental Permit (AEP) if you can meet all of the following conditions:

Find out how to apply for an AEP.

If you cannot meet all of the conditions for an AEP, then you should apply for an Experimental Permit (EP).

If your testing involves GMOs, before you apply to HSE for an EP under COPR you must first separately notify:

Find out how to apply for an EP.

How to notify or apply

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

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

Using the HSE Secure File Sharing Service

After you notify or apply

GB BPR R&D notification

What HSE will do:

What you should do:

COPR Automatic Experimental Permit

What HSE will do:

What you should do:

COPR Experimental Permit

What HSE will do:

What you should do:

Updated 2021-02-15