Biocidal products are used to fight harmful organisms: by repelling them, rendering them harmless or destroying them.

They are used on various supports (disinfectants for floors or toilets, wood protection products, etc.) or act against living organisms (rodent poison, mosquito repellents, anti-mould products, etc.) with the exception of plants.

Indeed, plant treatment products (including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) are phytopharmaceutical products which is a separate category from chemical products.

By their nature, biocidal products all present a risk of some sort for health and the environment.

That is why the sale and use of biocidal products is subject to an authorisation, a notification, or a registration. These conditions are provided for by legislation and specified in the authorisation reports

Biocidal products should also comply with strict standards in terms of classification, packaging, labelling, and advertising.

The Federal Environmental Inspection is in charge of verifying if the availability of biocidal products on the market and their use comply with what is provided for in the authorisation reports.

These checks aim, in particular, to verify if:

  • the vendors are authorised to sell the biocidal product 
  • professional users that hold biocidal products are registered
  • biocidal products do contain the active substances mentioned in the authorisation report
  • the rules concerning storage conditions and the traceability of biocidal products are respected
  • all the mandatory information appears in the documents concerning the biocidal product controlled, as well as on the invoices, for example.
  • the rules on labelling, packaging and references used on advertising supports are respected.

These checks also concern articles treated with biocidal products, such as, for example, clothing treated with mosquito repellents, shoes treated against bacteria, and even dust mite-proof mattresses.

Biocidal products sold in Belgium are controlled at retail and production sites as well as at professional users.

Example: the Biocidal campaigns carried out in 2017

In addition to routine checks, the 2017 controls concerned in particular themes as varied as anti-algae products, biocidal products used in children's nurseries, those used in the production of drinking water, insecticide and repellent products sold for the horse riding-sector.