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The Authorisation Scheme for Biocidal Products in Switzerland

Dag Kappes, Brunhilde Kolp Buchs


The Swiss Ordinance on Biocidal Products is technically equivalent to the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) of the EU. As a result, the requirements concerning the harmonised authorisation procedures and the lists of active substances in the EU and Switzerland are identical. Therefore, in 2015 both parties renewed the existing chapter on ‘Biocidal Products’ in the EU-CH Mutual Recognition Agreement, which until 2013 had been based on the Biocidal Products Directive. Due to mutual recognition of authorisations of biocidal products, technical barriers to trade are avoided while maintaining the high level of protection. Furthermore, Switzerland participates in several BPR expert groups on EU level. This international exchange of knowledge and experience offers the opportunity to continuously improve the assessment techniques and to contribute to its harmonised development. Switzerland has to comply with the acquis. Consequently its room for manoeuvre concerning pragmatic solutions, eg for niche products, is therefore limited. The population benefits from the high level of protection. On the one hand, industry benefits from the same requirements and the possibility of mutual recognition of authorisations. On the other hand, small and medium enterprises operating only on the relatively small Swiss market suffer under the costs for the dossier preparation and the fees. Overall, the positive effects are likely to predominate due to the high level of protection.

Brunhilde Kolp Buchs is Head of Section REACH and Risk Management of the Division of Chemical Products at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Dag Kappes is a Scientific Officer in the same section. For correspondence: <>.


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