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Editor-in-chief: Maurizio Roncaccia
Editors: Paul Trouth and Päivi Jokiniemi
Article related to: Editorial
Four important developments on biocides still this year
Autumn kicks off with the big biocides event of the year. The Biocides Stakeholders’ Day takes place on 26 September in Helsinki. You will get the latest news from us and have a chance to hear from companies and national authorities. If you aren’t coming to Helsinki, the event will be web streamed so you can follow it online. On 27 September, an IT tool training on how to use R4BP 3, IUCLID and the SPC Editor will take place.
The enforcement of the biocides regulation will be on the agenda, too. Since March, the biocides enforcement authorities have had their own network under ECHA’s Enforcement Forum – the Biocidal Products Regulation subgroup (BPRS). The group is setting up common approaches to practical enforcement cases to help national inspectors. One of its first decisions was to join the Forum’s REF-6 project to check the classification and labelling of biocidal products. Later this year, the group will also decide on their first EU-wide enforcement project devoted solely to biocides.
Jack de Bruijn.
The recent example of the non-authorised use of the insecticide fipronil highlights how important enforcement is for protecting human health and the environment. Fipronil was used to get rid of insects in chicken breeding facilities, but its use led to eggs and chicken meat being contaminated in several European countries. The group will discuss this case in its November meeting.
Also coming up later this year will be the criteria to identify substances with endocrine-disrupting properties. These criteria will apply to plant protection products and biocides. If both the Parliament and the Council accept the criteria proposed by the European Commission this summer, the regulations will be published in the Official Journal, possibly in December. This would mean that the criteria would be applicable by summer 2018.
ECHA has been working with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) on a guidance document to implement the criteria. Once the criteria are adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the draft guidance will be opened for public consultation. Make sure to send your comments and help us make the guidance as useful as possible.
In December, we are also expecting the Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) to give its first two opinions on applications for Union authorisation. Since the entry into force of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), companies have been able to apply to get biocidal products authorised across the whole EU without having to apply separately in each Member State.
Currently, there are 54 Union authorisation applications and 26 same biocidal product applications for Union authorisation in ECHA's pipeline. The first applications for Union authorisation, which are for biocidal product families, have now been evaluated by the responsible competent authority – in this case, the Netherlands – and are undergoing peer review by the other Member States.
After the BPC's opinion, the European Commission will decide on whether to grant the authorisations. This means that for the first time, authorisation may be granted through a new route that didn’t exist before the BPR.
So, plenty going on this autumn. Keep following our news to stay up to date.
Jack de Bruijn Director of Risk Management 14 September 2017