As well as controlling biocidal products, the GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR) also includes rules for articles which have been treated with or incorporate a biocidal product.
GB BPR (the law) defines a 'treated article' as:
'any substance, mixture or article which has been treated with, or intentionally incorporates, one or more biocidal products'
The law also states that:
'a treated article that has a primary biocidal function shall be considered a biocidal product'
The law excludes
Premises or containers used for storage or transport which are treated with biocidal fumigants or disinfectants and where no residues are expected to remain are not treated articles.
Treated article or biocidal product?
To determine if you are dealing with a treated article or a biocidal product, you need to decide if the article has primary biocidal function.
As a general principle, a function of an article is:
- primary if the biocidal action cannot be removed without fundamentally altering the purpose or intended use of the article, for example, if you remove the biocides from a disinfectant wipe, the wipe no longer has any purpose – the disinfecting action is the primary biocidal function
- secondary if the biocidal action can be removed and the article can still be used for the non-biocidal purpose by the same intended user, for example, a chopping board which incorporates a disinfectant can still be used to prepare food if the disinfectant is removed – the disinfecting action is a secondary function as the primary function is to prepare food
A treated article which only has one function, and when this function is also biocidal, has by default a primary biocidal function. For example, mosquito nets which are treated with insecticide or insect repellent are intended solely to control mosquitoes. Removing the insecticide or insect repellent does not fundamentally alter the purpose or intended use of the net as it will still control mosquitoes.
Some articles might be both a biocidal product and a treated article.
Complex articles are those that are made up of several parts eg a sofa is made up of a frame, cushions, fabric cover etc. Complex articles can be treated articles too, even if only one of the parts has been treated with or incorporates a biocidal product.
|Article||Treated article or biocidal product||Comments|
|wooden bench painted with wood preservative||treated article||The bench can still be used as seating if the wood preservative is removed.
The wood preservative used to paint the bench would be the biocidal product.
|socks with odour free / stay fresh or antibacterial claim||treated article||The socks can still be used to keep feet warm if the biocide is removed.
The product used to treat the socks / fibres would be the biocidal product.
|mosquito repellent wrist band||biocidal product||The purpose of the wrist band would be fundamentally altered if the repellent was removed.|
|interior paint containing an in-can preservative||treated article||The paint can still be used to colour walls if the in-can preservative is removed.
The preservative added to the paint would be the biocidal product.
|sofa with a wooden frame treated with a wood preservative||complex treated article||The sofa can still be used as seating if the wood preservative is removed.
The wood preservative used to treat the frame would be the biocidal product.
|wood preservative paint also containing an in-can preservative||biocidal product and treated article||The purpose of the paint would be fundamentally altered if the wood preservative was removed, but the paint can still be used to preserve wood if the in-can preservative is removed. The preservative added to the paint would also be a biocidal product|
|disinfectant coating applied to eg public transport grab bars / rails||biocidal product||The purpose of the coating would be fundamentally altered if the disinfectant was removed.|
|disinfectant added as part of the manufacturing process eg public transport grab bars / rails||treated article||The public transport grab bar / rail can still be used to steady / assist someone if the disinfectant is removed.
The biocidal function (to stop the spread of bacteria, viruses etc) should not be the prominent / primary claim as this would make it a biocidal product.
The product added as part of the manufacturing process would be the biocidal product.
|face mask that incorporates a disinfectant in the fabric to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses etc||biocidal product||The only purpose of the mask is to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses etc.
Removing the disinfectant does not fundamentally alter the purpose or intended use of the mask.
Requirements of the law
The requirements relating to treated articles in GB BPR:
- only apply to treated articles that are not biocidal products
- prohibit the treated article from being placed on the market unless:
- all the active substances in the biocidal product it was treated with / incorporates are approved for the relevant product type and use or are included on the GB Simplified Active Substance List and
- any specified conditions or restrictions relating to the active substance(s) are met
- include if and how the article should be labelled
- allow consumers to request information on the biocidal treatment of the treated article
Placing on the market means the first making available on the market of a treated article. This means the first act of supply of a treated article, whether in return for payment or free of charge. Some examples of this could include:
- manufacturer to distributor, retail store or end user
- importer to distributor, retailer or end user
Manufacturers, importers, suppliers and distributors
Before you place a treated article on the GB market you must make sure that the active substance(s) is ;approved for the relevant product type and use or is included on the GB Simplified Active Substance List.
If the active substance is not yet approved for the relevant product type or included on the GB Simplified Active Substance List, you may still be able to place the treated article on the GB market – check the 'Can be used in treated articles' column on the GB List of Active Substances. If this column is marked with 'Yes' for the active substance / product type combination, you may place the treated article on the GB market until either:
- the date of approval for the relevant product type – after the date of approval you may be able to continue to make the product available on the market, but you need to check if there are specific restrictions or additional labelling requirements required by the approval
- 180 days after the non-approval decision for the relevant product type
If the column is marked 'No' for the active substance / product type combination, you may not place the treated article on the GB market.
If you are the person first placing a treated article on the GB market, you are responsible for labelling it according to the requirements of GB BPR.
Anyone who is later making that same treated article available on the GB market without changing that article does not have any additional labelling duties under GB BPR.
If you take a treated article and incorporate it into a more complex article (eg using preserved wood in the frame of a sofa), this is a new treated article. If you place the new treated article on the market you are responsible for labelling it according to the requirements of GB BPR.
Anyone in the supply chain of a treated article must provide, when requested by a consumer, information on the biocidal treatment of the treated article. This information must be provided within 45 days and free of charge.
Labelling treated articles
Labels for treated articles must provide:
any relevant instructions for use, including any precautions to be taken, if this is necessary to protect humans, animals or the environment
Additional labelling is required when:
- you make a claim that the treated article has biocidal properties such as 'preserved / gives protection against'
- the conditions of the approval of the active substance(s) used to treat the article require specific labelling provisions to protect public health or the environment
This additional labelling must include:
- a statement that the treated article incorporates biocidal product(s)
- where substantiated, the biocidal property given to the treated article
- the name of all active substances contained in the biocidal product(s)
- the name of all nanomaterials contained in the biocidal products, followed by the word 'nano' in brackets
- any relevant instructions for use, including any precautions to be taken because of the biocidal product(s) that the treated article is treated with or incorporates
- must be:
- clearly visible
- easily legible
- appropriately durable
- in English
- may be:
- printed on the packaging, on the instructions for use or on the warranty as necessary because of the size or the function of the treated article