New committee starts working for safe biocidal products

28-Mar-2013

The Biocidal Products Committee will play an important role in the approval of active substances

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has established a new scientific committee to contribute to the availability of safe biocidal products in the European markets.

The Biocidal Products Committee will play an important role in the approval of active substances and the authorisation of biocidal products under the Biocidal Products Regulation, which will come into force from 1 September.

The committee’s first meeting, held this week (26–27 March), was a milestone in preparation for the new regulation. The committee has started to look at the working methods, procedures and priorities for future work.

“ECHA is working hard to be ready to receive industry\'s dossiers after the regulation has entered into operation on 1 September 2013. The new Biocidal Products Committee will have a crucial role to play and a challenging workload ahead, and based on the discussions during the committee\'s first meeting, I am convinced of the expertise and commitment of its members,” said Geert Dancet, Executive Director of ECHA.

The Biocidal Products Committee will give an opinion on all active substances that will be used in biocidal products. It expects to have the first discussions on active substances early next year, when ECHA takes over the review programme of existing active substances from the European Commission. ECHA will forward these opinions to the Commission for its decisionmaking. After that, companies can choose, for their biocidal products, whether they prefer to apply for an authorisation for all European markets through ECHA or to do it on a national level and subsequent mutual recognition to other countries. Discussions on product authorisations will therefore start later, as the active substances need to be approved before the product authorisation can start.

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Almost all members of the European Union have appointed a member to the Biocidal Products Committee. Most have been involved in the approval process already under the Biocidal Products Directive, which was the predecessor of the Biocidal Products Regulation.