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This page provides guidance and information on the UK implementation of Regulation European Community (EC) No 648/2004, which came into force on 8 October 2005.

Regulation 648/2004 on Detergents

As a Regulation (as opposed to a Directive) 648/2004 is "directly applicable" and applies throughout the European Union on its own, without the further need for domestic United Kingdom (UK) legislation.

Regulation (EU) No 259/2012 imposes a restriction on phosphates in domestic laundry and dishwasher detergents. The UK is currently considering the process of transposition.

Detergents Regulations 2010 SI740

Domestic Regulation is necessary to implement a ban on inorganic phosphates in domestic laundry cleaning products (DLCPs), setting out the process for handling derogation applications and to provide for enforcement measures - including criminal penalties for breach of Regulation 648/2004.

Since 1 January 2015 it has been an offence to market a DLCP containing more than 0.4% of its weight of inorganic phosphate.

Updated: 2020-09-16