Evaluating biocidal products

On 20 February 2019, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee considered a Delegated Regulation on the EU’s Review of biocidal products.

Biocidal products are those that use chemical or biological means to control harmful or unwanted organisms. They include disinfectants, pest control products and insect repellents.

In 2012, the EU agreed to review all active substances used in biocidal products that are already on the market. This work is not due to be completed until 2024. The UK is the evaluating authority for a number of substances but will not be able to continue in this role from 30 March 2019, when it leaves the EU, so this Delegated Regulation re-assigns the substances to other Member States.

While the Committee had no concerns over the Delegated Regulation itself, the UK Government’s associated Explanatory Memorandum states that in a ‘no deal’ scenario they will set up a separate UK review. This raised a number of questions for Committee Members about the scale of the work involved, the impact if companies decide not to participate in the UK’s review, and whether such work would also need to take place in a ‘deal’ scenario. They therefore decided to write to the Minister to seek further information.

Update: on 3 April, the Committee considered the Minister’s response, which provided details on how the loss of access to some substances might be mitigated and explained that the cost of the UK Review (which would probably only be relevant if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) would be met by the companies who submit applications to it. The Committee decided to release the Regulation from scrutiny.

Letters to the Minister

Letter from the Minister

Related information

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The scrutiny process

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