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The work of the Chemical Inspection Service

In Denmark, the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for monitoring compliance with the chemicals regulations.

The work is concentrated in three areas, which are:

  • areas of particular significance for health and the environment
  • areas with requirements that differ from those in the rest of the EU,
  • and  imports from third countries.

The person responsible may be penalised for not complying with the chemicals legislation and risks either a fine or up to two years' imprisonment – unless other legislation imposes a heavier sentence.
The Chemical Inspection Service may demand that illegal products are rendered legal or removed from the market. As a user and as an importer/distributor/producer, etc. you can inform the Chemical Inspection Service if you believe that a product does not comply with the chemicals legislation.

The work of the Chemical Inspection

The Chemical Inspection Service scrutinises compliance with the provisions of the chemicals legislation and the approximately 50 various orders, regulations and notices linked to the legislation. The chemicals legislation is mainly based on EU directives and regulations.  
The remit of the Chemical Inspection Service is wide, covering areas from, for example, cosmetics and lead to pesticides.
The Inspection employs 17 people. Inspections can take place in any part of the country, but for practical reasons, the Chemical Inspection Service will often visit a shop in the Copenhagen region if the products for inspection are sold throughout Denmark. The Chemical Inspection Service often takes samples of goods for closer inspection.
The Chemical Inspection Service is concerned with the control of toxic substances, monitoring campaigns, processing of reports from third parties and cases that the Inspection addresses on its own initiative, as well as the handling of warnings (notifications) from other EU Member States. The Chemical Inspection Service also has various administrative tasks. Our monitoring and administrative tasks are described below.

Toxic substances and products

We monitor compliance with the regulations for very toxic and toxic chemical substances and products at distributors. The inspection covers the sale and storage of very toxic and toxic chemical substances. Inspections take the form of visits to distributors throughout Denmark.
We are also responsible for:

  • Issuing permits to use or sell toxic substances, e.g. to combat moles.
  • Collecting fees from distributors relating to the sale of toxic or very toxic products.
  • Issuing permits for the retail sale of toxic substances and handling notices on wholesale toxic substances.
  • Correspondence with the public, with enterprises and authorities such as the police, in respect of permits for toxic substances.

Pesticides

We scrutinise marketing practices with regard to pesticides. We check that only legal pesticides are marketed. Inspections take the form of visits to distributors throughout Denmark.

Campaigns in targeted areas

We conduct campaigns in connection with monitoring specific areas for a limited period. These areas change from one year to the next. The campaigns concentrate on priority areas for the year in question. Campaigns may, for instance, cover the provisions of an order, a product group, a sector or a geographic area. 

Processing reports on a contravention of the law

The Chemical Inspection Service regularly receives reports from companies, private individuals, consumer organisations and other authorities, etc. on suspected breaches of the law on chemicals. Depending on the contravention, our work can, for example, be an evaluation of a company's documentation for a product, an analysis of a product or a combination of these types of inspection. In some cases, we have to contact authorities in other EU Member States to request the necessary documentation from producers and importers in these countries.

Follow-up on cases

Processing and follow-up of cases instigated by the Chemical Inspection Service. The Chemical Inspection Service may be made aware of a suspected contravention as a result of media or online advertising, when taking samples of products or during an inspection visit. Several cases have arisen in the wake of Chemical Inspection Service campaigns and during mapping by the Environmental Protection Agency of chemical substances in consumer products.

Products found to be dangerous in the EU

Processing and follow-up of warnings (notifications) from other EU Member States received from the Commission. The notifications advise on dangerous chemical products and dangerous chemical properties in goods. Read more on processing warnings (notifications) from other EU member states.

Reporting to the EU

Our reports to the EU include reports on the inspection of pesticides, biocidal products, substances that deplete the ozone layer and the scrutiny of areas covered by REACH.