Monday, November 28, 2011

ECHA to Begin Authorizing Biocidal Products

The European Union has reached an informal agreement to allow the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to being taking responsibility for reviewing and authorizing biocidal products.  The agreement between the European Parliament and the EU Council would give broad powers to ECHA and update the current EU Biocides Directive.

In addition to allowing ECHA to review certain biocides applications at the EU level, companies would also maintain the ability to apply to individual Member States for authorization, after which they would obtain approval in other Member States through a process called mutual recognition.  This is how the process works under the current Directive, and this move to shift some of the responsibility to ECHA is part of the reevaluation of the Biocide process as the Directive is replaced by a Biocidal Products Regulation.  Like REACH, the new regulation would immediately apply across all Member States, whereas the Directive required each MS to pass its own individual implementation legislation.

ECHA's role is limited to only some of the product types of biocides beginning in 2012, and then by 2017 all of the 23 product types will be eligible for authorization at the EU level through ECHA.  The informal agreement also specifically requires that nanoscale active substances in biocidal products be assessed separately from their non nanoscale counterparts.

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