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Detergents

This page provides guidance on:

What are detergents?

Detergents are substances or mixtures containing soaps and/or surfactants (any organic substance/mixture) intended for washing and cleaning processes.

Detergents also include cleaning and washing mixtures, for example, domestic all purposes cleaners or products for washing and cleaning surfaces, materials, products, machinery, mechanical appliances, instruments, and apparatus.

Detergents are substances or mixtures containing soaps and/or surfactants (any organic substance/mixture) intended for washing and cleaning processes.

Detergents also include cleaning and washing mixtures, for example, domestic all purposes cleaners or products for washing and cleaning surfaces, materials, products, machinery, mechanical appliances, instruments, and apparatus.

The Detergents Regulation - Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on Detergents (as amended)

The Detergents Regulation which first came into force on 8 October 2005 in the EU, is the retained EU law on detergents applying in Great Britain following the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 March 2020 and the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020. 

Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on detergents - The EU Detergents Regulation - will continue to apply in Northern Ireland after the end of the transitional period by virtue of the Withdrawal Agreement and the provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The 2010 Detergents Enforcement Regulations

The 2010 Detergents Enforcement Regulations:

  • includes the process for handling derogation applications and fees in Great Britain
  • appoints enforcement authorities in Great Britain
  • sets out the official controls and enforcement measures - including criminal penalties for breaches of the Detergents Regulation – in Great Britain

The 2010 Detergents Enforcement Regulations have also been amended to ensure that the Northern Ireland enforcement authorities can continue to enforce the EU Detergents Regulation in Northern Ireland, whilst the retained EU law can continue to be enforced in Great Britain. The amendments were made by the Detergents (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

Updated: 2020-12-22