Biocides are chemical and microbiological active substances or products designed to kill or control living organisms. Like plant protection products, they are governed under the Danish Chemicals Act and the Danish Pesticides Order. At the EU level, biocides are regulated by the Biocidal Products Directive, Directive 98/8/EC.

The legislation distinguishes between 23 different types of products. The product must fall within one of the 23 product-types in order to be considered as a biocidal product.

Definition of a biocidal product

The Biocidal Products Directive defines a biocidal product in Article 2(1)(a). It can also be found in Annex 1 to the Danish Chemicals Act.

The key points in the Biocidal Products Directive definition of a biocidal product are:

  • The intended use of the product must be to control (deter) the effects of harmful organisms. This is usually clear from the label or the way in which the product is marketed.
  • The product must consist of or contain an active substance.
  • The controlling effect must be by chemical or biological means.
  • The regulations apply to the products put up in the form in which they are supplied to the user and not, for example, to raw materials used to manufacture a biocidal product.
  • The product must belong to one of the 23 product-types specified in Annex V to the Directive.

Definition of an active substance

The definition can be found in Article 2(1)(d) of the Biocidal Products Directive
In the EU's Biocidal Products Directive, active substances are defined as:
A substance or micro-organism including a virus or a fungus having general or specific action on or against harmful organisms ."