Standardised Europe-wide regulation of biocides takes another step forward

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The new EU Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR) progressed further following the vote on 19 January 2012 in the European Parliament.

The European Parliament press release states:

The updated rules aim to better protect human health and the environment, while streamlining the marketing approval process.

“I am very pleased that we have found balanced answers to improve both safety checks and the approval process, so that Europeans will have access to new pest control products that are safe and effective”, said rapporteur Christa Klass (EPP, DE), after MEPs approved the legislation by a show of hands. Council, which has already provisionally agreed to the new legislation, must give a formal green light for it to enter into force.


EU flags Harmonisation one step nearer 

The most problematic substances – such as those that are carcinogenic, affect genes or hormones or are toxic to reproduction – should in principle be banned. Exceptions should only be made in Member States where strictly necessary, for example if a biocide is needed to safeguard against a specific danger to health*. Approvals and renewals will be time-limited, while safer alternatives are developed.

The new legislation further harmonises the EU market for biocidal products and sets deadlines for applications to be assessed. The recognition of approvals among Member States will be improved and the possibility to apply for authorisation at EU level will be phased in from 2013, becoming possible for most biocidal products by 2020.”

* Readers will be aware that all anticoagulant rodenticides fall within this ‘excepted substances’ status.

In a pre-vote press conference Christa Klass, the Parliament”s rapporteur on this topic threw further light on the issue. She said that certain exceptions had been agreed for use in defined circumstances where there were serious environmental risks or public health issues. She made it clear, however, that the Commission would be asked to look into the position should these exceptions not be resolved within this five year time slot.

Coming to the end of her speech, she said: “We need to give our consumers more security, but it is not the intention to harm industry – in particular the small industries that produce a lot of these biocides.”

It would seem the industry’s message has got through, but even so it would certainly seem that the EU rodenticide regulatory battle is still far from over.

To listen to Christa Klass” press conference presentation click here.

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