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Biocide deal heralds confusion over labelling


19 Jan 2012


Health & Consumers

Today, the European Parliament has confirmed the agreement it struck with the Council at the end of November of the use of biocidal products and their placing on the market. EuroCommerce implores the Commission, as a matter of urgency, to publish guidelines on the labelling requirements introduced by this Regulation and calls for a better flow of information along the supply chain. 

The Regulation, as agreed today, imposes substantial new labelling requirements for some products . Besides the heavy labelling requirements , it remains unclear which products will need to be labelled. 

Legal certainty is essential for the commerce sector, but unfortunately the current text does not provide this. This omission needs to be urgently addressed. We therefore make a plea to the Commission to swiftly provide clear guidance to help economic operators comply with these new labelling requirements,” commented Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce Director General.

The new Regulation will also establish a consumers’ right to be informed on the biocidal treatment of a product. On request, the retailer will have to supply such information, free of charge, within 45 days. 

On this point Mr Verschueren said, “This new provision is similar to the system used under the REACH Regulation, but does not cover the same substances. It will therefore create confusion among consumers and retailers. Our experience with REACH shows that any such obligation requires a smooth flow of information down the supply chain which, unfortunately, is not what we have at the moment.”


Marjolein Raes

Director Advocacy & Communications

T: +32 2 737 05 99

EuroCommerce and the commerce sector

EuroCommerce represents the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe. Its membership includes commerce federations and companies in 31 European countries. 

Commerce plays a unique role in the European economy, acting as the link between manufacturers and the nearly 500 million consumers across Europe over a billion times a day. It is a dynamic and labour-intensive sector, generating 11% of the EU’s GDP. One company out of three in Europe is active in the commerce sector. Over 95% of the 6 million companies in commerce are small and medium-sized enterprises. It also includes some of Europe’s most successful companies. The sector is a major source of employment creation: 31 million Europeans work in commerce, which is one of the few remaining job-creating activities in Europe. It also supports millions of dependent jobs throughout the supply chain from small local suppliers to international businesses.

1 Products that incorporate active substances, products where the manufacturer makes a claim as regards the biocidal properties of the product, or if imposed by the authorisation process
2 Statement that the treated article incorporates biocidal products, the biocidal property attributed to the treated article, the name of all active substances contained in the biocidal products, name of all the nanomaterials, and any relevant information for use


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