Swedish rules on certain products and articles that are hazardous to health and the environment

There are Swedish rules on bans and restrictions regarding certain substances in several different types of products and articles. The purpose of these rules is to reduce the risk of danger to health through use. If the products do not comply with the rules they may not be sold in Sweden. It is, however, possible for anyone selling these types of products to apply for a dispensation from the bans.

Restriction of certain substances in a number of products and articles that are hazardous to health and the environment

In order to prevent danger to health when using certain types of products, special rules apply in Sweden for anyone selling

  • matches containing white or yellow phosphorus
  • fluids for cleaning drains
  • car care agents containing methanol.

Fluids for cleaning drains

The ban applies to products in liquid form that are used for cleaning drains and contain a certain amount of acid or base. Since the ban applies to products in liquid form, it may also apply to certain gel products. It does not, however, apply to products in granular form.

Agents for cleaning drains – so-called drain cleaners – are often highly corrosive and can quickly cause severe burns to the mouth, esophagus, eyes and skin. Even small amounts can result in serious injury.

Car care agents containing methanol

The ban applies to coolants, windscreen washing fluids or other car care agents in liquid form containing methanol. However, the ban does not apply if the product also contains ethanol and if the methanol content is no more than 5 percent by weight of the amount of ethanol. The relationship between the concentrations of methanol and ethanol in the product is important for ensuring that the harmful effects of methanol are mitigated as far as possible.

The ban has been introduced to minimise the risk of severe methanol poisoning in the case of accidental ingestion of these fluids. Therefore only car care agents in liquid form are covered by the ban. Car care agents in another form, such as paste, are thus not covered by it.

Prohibition in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944), 15 § (In Swedish only) External link.

Note that the Swedish ban on methanol in car care products is no longer to be applied to washing fluids and defrosting fluids for windscreens. Since 9 May 2019, EU common rules apply to methanol in washing fluids and defrosting fluids for windscreens. These are set out in Annex XVII (entry 69) of the REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, and mean that windscreen washing fluids and defrosting fluid for windscreens may not be sold to the public if they contain methanol in a concentration of 0.6 per cent by weight or more.

Dispensation from the bans

If there are special reasons, the Swedish Chemicals Agency may grant a dispensation from the bans. The application fee is 15.000 SEK. In order for us to assess your application for a dispensation, you must send us written documentation that provide sufficient grounds for being granted it. We can only grant a dispensation in individual cases.

Last published 15 June 2020