EU round up – EU upgrades biocides regulations once again

17 July 2014

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has again updated the European Union’s (EU) rules on biocidal products, trying to smooth the implementation of the new EU biocidal products regulation. Only one month after announcing a swathe of clarifications, ECHA has now confirmed that a new European Commission regulation has come into force (on June 4) on the renewal of biocide authorisations granted through "mutual recognition”.

That covers products first authorised by an EU member state, rather than a central EU authorisation, where another EU government approves a biocidal product by recognising an initial national authorisation.

The new rules say how companies should apply for a renewal of such authorisations, laying down the content of applications; submission procedures; how they should be assessed and validated by regulators; and setting grace periods for sales of stocks of these biocidal products if no authorisation renewal is made. See regulations/biocidal-products-regulation/authorisation-of-biocidal-products/national-authorisation-renewal

• Meanwhile, ECHA has released three more sets of guidance about the biocidal products regulation, covering antifouling products; efficacy assessments for preservatives; and mixture toxicity assessments for biocidal products regarding the environment. See – web/guest/guidance-documents/guidance-on-biocides-legislation/transitional-guidance

And ECHA’s Chemical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool (CHESAR) has been updated to include estimates of consumer exposure to chemicals used in products, including paints and coatings. These are based on ‘specific consumer exposure determinants’ (SCEDs), datasets developed by industry associations that can be used by registrants for the EU chemical control system REACH.

• Elsewhere in the EU, a €11.2M EU-funded research project will develop new environmentallyfriendly anti-fouling coatings, its participants claim. The SEAFRONT (Synergistic Fouling Control Technologies Grant Agreement) project will develop new coatings from ships, tidal power plants and other aquatic installations. Their goal will be to improve their operational efficiency, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, while not damaging marine ecosystems.

Marco Astorri, CEO of Italian polymer company Bio-on, said he was keen "to investigate the potential of our…biopolymers…” Bio-on will supply different grades of biopolymers for the project, made by fermenting agricultural by-products.

Jacques Joosten, Managing Director of co-ordinator the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) said the project would "create added value for our current and future industrial and academic partners”.

A European Commission note said the coatings would be assessed through laboratory based performance benchmarking and end-user field trials. This would focus on ‘coating-biofouling interaction and hydrodynamic drag’, helping inform the development of marine technology and fouling control solutions, it said. See

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