An EU-wide enforcement project found about 60 active substances in biocidal products that are not allowed on the EU, European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss markets. The Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) defines biocidal products as any substance or mixture consisting of, containing, or generating one or more active substances with the intention of destroying, deterring, or rendering harmless harmful organisms by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action.
The national enforcement authorities in 29 countries carried out inspections during 2022. They checked how different types of biocidal products on the markets comply with the BPR. The inspections focused on non-allowed active substances in biocidal products, approval procedures for suppliers of these substances, and the obligations concerning labeling, packaging, and advertising of biocidal products.
Out of over 3,500 checked products, 37 % failed to meet at least one legal requirement, with 18 % showing critical non-compliance affecting their safe usage due to lacking product authorization or the inclusion of prohibited active substances. Most biocides with such major non-compliance were disinfectants, insecticides, or repellents/attractants.
Inspectors found about 60 active substances that are not allowed in these products. All products that lacked authorization or contained non-allowed active substances were withdrawn from the market. In some cases, criminal complaints or fines were issued. Lack of authorizations, the presence of non-allowed active substances, and severe non-compliance related to labeling and advertisement might affect the proper and safe use of biocidal products.
The remaining 19 % non-compliant products were found to have minor deficiencies that did not affect safe use, such as missing contact information of the supplier. In these cases, the national enforcement authorities gave advice or administrative orders.
Notably, 265 out of nearly 1,900 checked disinfectants (14 %) were non-compliant, largely due to lacking authorization or incorrect labeling, prompting their removal from the market. The intensified focus on disinfectants stemmed from increased market entry during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many products failing to adhere to the EU’s Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) and relevant national transitional standards.
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Helsinki, Finland