Temporary legislative changes for the use and sale of biocidal disinfectants to combat SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) spread in Europe

March 13, 2020

Switzerland, France and Germany have made temporary changes to legislation regarding the sale and use of specific biocides. This is to address the current shortages of biocidal products and limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (known as COVID-19). Biocidal hydroalcoholic products such as hand sanitizer gels are one of the most effective solutions to quickly and efficiently disinfect hands. The rapid, broad-spectrum biocidal effect of the disinfectant spans a wide range of microorganisms including coronavirus, hence the rising demand for disinfectant products globally.   

Switzerland’s Notification Authority for Chemicals has issued a General Decree regarding authorisation of the sale and human use of specific alcohol-based disinfectants. This temporary change is valid until 31 August 2020 and is to manage the exceptional circumstances being incurred due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The General Decree is in accordance with Article 30 of the Ordinance on the Placing on the Market and Handling of Biocidal Products of May 18, 2005.

Germany’s Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has announced a General Decree approving the use of biocidal products containing isopropanol for hand disinfection. This General Decree is currently valid until 31 August 2020 and is in accordance with Article 55 (1) of Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012. Two specific disinfectant formulations have been detailed in the General Decree for manufacture and marketing within Germany. Additional information for manufacturing can also be found here.

France has also followed suit, making temporary legislative changes to authorise the use of specific hydroalcoholic biocidal disinfectants in an Order published 6 March 2020. The Order temporarily authorises specific hydroalcoholic products for human hygiene and surface disinfection in France until 31 May 2020.

Similar temporary changes to legislation are expected across Europe in the light of the recent announcements.

TSG can help

TSG’s team of regulatory consultants are experienced in the registration of biocidal products and can help answer any questions you may have. Our consultants are well practised in making transitional national registrations across Europe. The team speaks over 30 languages and is on hand to translate items including product labels, letters from authorities and trial reports where necessary. Furthermore, TSG’s established network of reliable associates provides national expertise and long-standing relationships with authorities across Central & Eastern Europe.

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