The EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) contains provisions which apply not only to biocidal products but also to all articles, which have been treated or incorporate a biocidal product.
In particular, articles can only be treated with active substances which have been approved in the EU for that purpose. This is a significant change to the previous requirements under the Biocidal Products Directive (BPD), where articles imported from outside the EU could be treated with substances not allowed in the EU.
What is a treated article?
Article 3 of the EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012 (EU BPR) defines a treated article as “any substance, mixture or article which has been treated with, or intentionally incorporates, one or more biocidal products”.
The fumigation or disinfection of premises or containers used for storage or transport and where no residues are expected to remain are not considered to be treated articles.
Timber products are affected even if only one component of the end article contains biocide (e.g. preservative in a component of a window or external door).
What does it mean to me?
As a rule of thumb, if wood you are using is sapwood or timber that is not naturally durable it is more than likely to have been treated with a preservative that contains a biocide. Many coatings also contain Biocides (to prevent mildew). If coatings or preservatives contain biocides then you will need to label the products to this effect. Worth noting that if you are buying any products that fall into scope (e.g. preservatives, coatings or treated timber), then you should be getting the appropriate info from your suppliers to assist here (i.e. whether products contain biocides and confirming that they are approved). If in doubt check.
What do you need to do?
Treated wood must be labelled with biocidal contents and user information.
The Biocidal Products Regulation comes into force on 1 September 2013 with guidance provided by HSE here.
(note you will need to scroll down the list to find the correct publication)