Published: 29 September 2020  (Updated: 29 September 2020)

ECHA News – Biocides Advice for COVID-19

Please note that the information on this news item is only applicable to biocidal hand gels, not cosmetic hand gels.  For more information on product classification, please visit this CTPA news.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued public news with specific advice for biocidal products during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under the Biocidal products Regulation (BPR), biocidal actives can only be sourced by approved suppliers listed in Article 95 of the BPR (for more information please visit the CTPA Biocides Reference Zone).  As the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased demand for disinfectants in the EU, Member States, the European Commission and ECHA, took decisive action to speed up the supply by relying on a special provision of the BPR. This ‘public health danger’ provision (Article 55 of the BPR) allows individual Member States to grant exceptional emergency permits for products to source active substances also from non-authorised suppliers under the BPR.  The derogation was initially allowed for 180 days, which will therefore be coming to an end in September.  As the COVID-19 emergency is still ongoing, the EU Commission and ECHA advise that EU Member States can apply for an extension to the existing emergency permit or grant a new permit.  Extensions can be granted for a maximum period of 550 days, however Member States authorities should first check that the demand cannot be met with authorised disinfectants and recognised suppliers.

CTPA will keep companies informed should the derogations be extended.  Whilst the supply of disinfecting and antibacterial products is needed, companies have to ensure that these are classified correctly and are marketed under the relevant legal framework.  The EU Commission has got high concerns regarding the high number of non-compliant products found on the EU market during the first wave of COVID-19 infections.

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