Biocidal products

Biocidal products may be placed on the market, be used professionally and commercially only if they have been authorised, notified or recognised according to the Ordinance on Biocidal Products (OBP - SR 813.12). The responsibility for placing biocidal products on the market falls to the authorisation holder.

Biocidal products are used to combat harmful organisms by killing or repelling them. Biocidal products are considered to be preparations or active substances in the form in which they are supplied to the user. That means to the person, who uses the product for a biocidal purpose, e.g. disinfection, combating pests or to protect colour using an in-can preservative. A biocidal product acts in a chemical or biological way but not a physical way. Depending on the purpose(s) for which it is to be used, it belongs to at least one of the 22 products types. The active substances used in biocidal products have to be either notified or approved.

Biocidal active substances

In order that active substances may be used as or for biocidal products, they have to be "approved" or at least be notified for approval.

Transitional authorisations (AN/AC)

An application for a transitional authorisation can be made only for biocidal products that contain at least one notified active substance.

Product types

Biocidal products are classified into four main groups: disinfectants, preservatives, pest control and other biocidal products. The four main groups contain 22 product types (Annex 10 Ordinance on Biocidal Products).

Authorisations according to the European harmonized system

Biocidal products that contain only approved active substances (active substances that have been incorporated into the lists in Annex 1 or 2 OBP), can be placed on the Swiss market only with an authorisation from the European harmonised procedure.

Questions on delimitation

Certain products are at the interface between two product categories and thus are always classified on a case-by-case basis and have to be reviewed as a whole (check on intended use and composition).

Treated articles

This guide (only available in German, French and Italian) is aimed at the cantonal enforcement authorities, businesses and users. It sets out the regulations on products treated with biocidal active substances.

Swiss specific authorisation provisions

Here you will find explanations of specific Swiss provisions concerning the authorisation of biocidal products. These are e.g. restrictions of certain uses that result from national regulations and therefore, based on Article 12 para. 2 Ordinance on Biocidal Product (Article 37 BPR), may deviate from the authorisation requirements that apply in other EU countries.

Declaration requirements for quantities of biocidal products placed on the market

The quantity of a biocidal product placed on the market in the previous year must be declared to the notification authority for chemicals via the product register for chemicals by 31 May of each year.

Last modification 20.07.2023

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