Europe’s biocidal products directive: benefits and costs in urban pest management
Buckle, A. P., Prescott, C. V. and Sharples, R. (2005) Europe’s biocidal products directive: benefits and costs in urban pest management. In: 5th International Conference on Urban Pests., 10-13 July 2005, Singapore, pp. 343-349. (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Urban Pests.)
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Official URL: http://www.icup.org.uk/icupabst.asp?ReportID=52
The European Commission’s Biocidal Products Directive (Council Directive 98/8 EC), known as the BPD, is the largest regulatory exercise ever to affect the urban pest control industry. Although focussed in the European Union its impact is global because any company selling pest control products in the EU must follow its principles. All active substances, belonging to 23 different biocidal product types, come within the Directive’s scope of regulatory control. This will eventually involve re-registration of all existing products, as well as affecting any new product that comes to the market. Some active substances, such as the rodenticides and insecticides, are already highly regulated in Europe but others, such as embalming fluids, masonry preservatives, disinfectants and repellents/attractants will come under intensive regulatory scrutiny for the first time. One of the purposes of the Directive is to offer enhanced protection for human health and the environment. The potential benefit for suppliers of pest control products is mutual recognition of regulatory product dossiers across 25 Member States of the European Union. This process, requiring harmonisation of all regulatory decision-making processes, should reduce duplicated effort and, potentially, allow manufacturers speedier access to European markets. However, the cost to industry is enormous, both in terms of the regulatory resources required to assemble BPD dossiers and the development budgets required to conduct studies to meet its new standards. The cost to regulatory authorities is also tremendous, in terms of the need to upgrade staff capabilities to meet new challenges and the volume of the work expected by the Commission when they are appointed the Rapporteur Member State (RMS) for an active substance. Users of pest control products will pay a price too. The increased regulatory costs of maintaining products in the European market are likely to be passed on, at least in part, to users. Furthermore, where the costs of meeting new regulatory requirements cannot be recouped from product sales, many well-known products may leave the market. For example, it seems that in future few rodenticides that are not anticoagulants will be available within the EU. An understanding of the BPD is essential to those who intend to place urban pest control products on the European market and may be useful to those considering the harmonisation of regulatory processes elsewhere. This paper reviews the operation of the first stages of the BPD for rodenticides, examines the potential benefits and costs of the legislation to the urban pest control industry and looks forward to the next stages of implementation involving all insecticides used in urban pest management.