Pesticides and biocides

How to get approval for pesticides and biocides

Pesticides and biocides must be approved before you can import, use, sell, store, supply or advertise them. Pesticides and biocides are approved depending on the product's use.

Biocidal products are approved by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD). This covers products including:

  • disinfectants
  • insecticides
  • fungicides
  • preservatives
  • other products used for food storage and public hygiene

Plant protection products (PPP) are also approved and regulated by the CRD. This covers products including:

  • insecticides
  • fungicides
  • molluscicides (snail and slug pellets)
  • rodent control
  • other products used for agriculture, horticulture, gardening and landscaping, and other amenity and industrial uses

The registration of PPPs is harmonised throughout the European Union (EU).

The Plant Protection Product Regulations 2011 introduced a new zonal system for authorising PPPs. They also introduced hazard based criteria, assessment of cumulative and synergistic effects, comparative assessment and endocrine disruption on plants. 

Human medicinal products are approved and regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This covers products used on humans such as anti-headlice treatments and some skin disinfectants.

Veterinary medicines are approved and regulated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). This covers products used on animals such as sheep dip, worming and flea treatments.