EU round up – ECHA releases more biocidal products advice as law comes into force

15 October 2013

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been releasing new guidance on complying with the European Union’s (EU) biocidal products regulation, ahead of the new law coming into force on September 1.

Its latest advice – released on August 19 – tells companies how and when to request an assessment of a biocidal chemical that they think could be the technical equivalent of another active substance previously approved for use across the EU. Under the regulation, ECHA will carry out these checks, which were undertaken by national regulators under the outgoing 1998 biocidal products directive.

This advice follows the release of two other guidance documents from ECHA on what information must be provided by companies seeking EU approval for their biocides, under the new regulation. An ECHA note stressed: "Information required under the [regulation] BPR is different from that which was required under the [directive] BPD.” The new requirements are more closely aligned with other EU chemical controls, such as the REACH system and there is a more formalised system for any changes to requests for information from companies, added ECHA.
Meanwhile, ECHA has released a new ‘IUCLID Report Generator’ plug-in computer programme to help chemical-based companies supply chemical safety reports to its officials regarding biocidal product applications under the new regulation.

See /guidance-documents/guidance-on-biocides-legislation; =guidance_applications_technical_equivalence; and index.php?fuseaction=home.download55&area_id=55030

  • The European Union (EU) is adding 11 chemicals, including perfluorooctane sulphonic acid and its derivatives (PFOS) – to a list of chemicals, whose release into lakes, rivers and groundwater is tightly controlled. PFOS controls have been tightening worldwide because of the chemicals’ toxicity – PFOS compounds have been used as impregnation agents for paints and help make anti-reflective coatings for photo-lithography purposes.

Member states will have to impose restrictions from December 22, 2018, under a revised directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in water policy.

  • The European Commission has approved the creation of an elastomer joint venture involving international petrochemical players Italy’s Versalis and South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corporation. The new business will focus on east Asian markets.
  • A group of key chemical industry associations has published an action plan on improving the quality of information contained in REACH chemical safety reports and extended safety data sheets. ECHA is working with EU chemical association Cefic, the Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination Group (DUCC), oil-based industry association Concawe and eight EU member states in the project. They have published a ‘road map’ detailing planned steps. These include increasing the understanding by chemical-based companies and regulators about what information is required for these documents.

Other steps include developing IT tools, standardising information formats, helping end users and more. See

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