Rules for common types of biocidal products


Here you can find a number of rules that apply to some common biocidal product types. Normally it is the claim made about a product’s use that indicates whether it is a biocidal product or another kind of product, such as a cosmetic or medical product.

Disinfectants and certain preservatives

Disinfectants and certain preservatives are biocidal products. Many of the active substances used in these products are still under review under the EU Review Programme for biocidal active substances. That is why the products containing active substances not yet approved by EU are still regulated by national rules. In Sweden this means that many disinfectants and preservatives are still exempt from authorisation as a biocidal product, until all the active substances in such products have been approved or banned by the EU.

Read more about which biocidal products that are allowed

Read more about disinfectants (in Swedish).

Biocidal treated articles

Is your company selling articles under the claim that they have a special biocidal function, such as sports jumpers which are marketed as anti-odour or chopping boards which are claimed to be antibacterial? In that case, you must ensure that these articles are labelled and supplied with information for the purchaser in accordance with the regulations governing biocidal treated articles.

You can find information here on EU Regulations governing biocidal treated articles which you need to know in order to make demands of your supplier or manufacturer.


Today most rodenticides have active substances belonging to the group of second-generation anticoagulants. Common to this group of chemical substances is the fact that they are very toxic to mammals including human beings, that they have a delayed toxic effect which is irreversible, and that in many cases they are poorly degradable in the natural environment. Because the products contain these particularly dangerous properties, it is even more important to have risk-prevention measures in place in case it is necessary to use these.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has come to the conclusion that the use of rodenticides involving second-generation anticoagulants must be kept to a minimum. The users of these products must have sufficient knowledge about the dangers and must be able to prevent damage. We therefore only allow authorisation classes that call for the appropriate qualified use of these types of products for treatment against rats.

Read more about rodenticides (in Swedish).

In situ-generated biocidal products

Since the EU Biocidal Products Regulation began to apply to all biocidal products, there has been a tightening of the rules governing biocidal active substances manufactured on the spot - known as in situ -generated active substances. This means that approval is now needed to use systems which consist of in situ-generated active substances.

You will find further information here on that applying to in situ-generated biocidal products.

Antifouling paints for leisure craft

Producers of antifouling paints which contain biocidal active substances must apply for authorisation of the product and submit a full risk assessment for the geographic area of use for which the paint is intended. According to the conditions of the authorisation, the paint may only be used in the specific geographic area that are risk assessed and authorised.

Read more about antifouling paints as biocidal products (in Swedish).


Two types of insecticides

Biocidal products include two types of insecticides. These are either products that kill insects, or chemical products that repel or attract insects. Common to all these products is the fact that they must have valid authorisation from the Swedish Chemicals Agency before they may be marketed, sold or used in Sweden.

The marketing of biocides as natural or harmless products is banned

Many repellents and insecticides consist of plant extracts or other natural ingredients. However, since they are pesticides, there is a ban on marketing them as being harmless by using wording such as "only natural ingredients" or similar. This is stipulated in the regulations governing the labelling of pesticides in EU Biocidal Products Regulation and the Swedish Environmental Code.

Fodder or foodstuffs used as insecticides are exempted from the authorisation requirement

The use of products repellents and attractants that consist solely of fodder or foodstuffs are exempted from the authorisation requirement, according to the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. However, this exemption does not apply if the products are marketed or sold as biocidal products.

Read more about the exemption for use of repellents and attractants that consist of fodder or foodstuffs (in Swedish).

Large-scale mosquito control measures

In some areas of Sweden extensive mosquito control measures are being undertaken because the great numbers of mosquitoes pose serious problems for the local people. Special permission for large-scale control measures is required where these are carried out in protected areas, such as national parks, or where they are to be carried out from the air, such as spraying by helicopter.

You will find further information on mosquito control measures on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website and on our page on mosquito control measures in Sweden.

Information provided by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency on mosquito control. External link.

Wood preservatives

In the case of wood preservatives, special rules apply on how treated wood should be stored, labelled and used.

Read more about wood preservatives (in Swedish).

Creosote products are restricted by the REACH Regulation Annex XVII

Creosote products and products containing coal tar may not be sold to the public. They may be used solely for industrial or professional purposes. The use of creosote products is restricted by Annex XVII to the REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006) pages 235-236. Creosote products are also governed by the regulations on biocidal products because they belong to product type 8 according to the EU Biocidal Products Regulation.

Read more about wood protection using creosote (in Swedish).

Products against growth of mold and algae

Products used to prevent or remove growth of, for example mold and algae on wood, stone, concrete, brick and mortar are regarded as biocidal products. This applies to products that provide a residual long-term effect as well as products that provide a short-term effect. For products with long-term effect, approval is required in Sweden.

Read more about the rules for products against growth of mold and algae (in Swedish).

Last published 12 August 2022