Biocidal products are used for protecting humans, animals, materials or articles against harmful organisms, such as pests or micro-organisms, with the active substances in the biocidal product. In Finland, only biocidal products that fulfill the requirements of Biocidal Products Regulation may be sold or used.  During the transitional period of the Biocidal Products Regulation some products are excluded from the authorisation procedures.

Companies apply for approval with the biocidal products register R4BP of the European Chemical Agency. The principles of sustainable use are considered in assessing the products. In addition, Tukes assesses whether the product could be replaced with other products or methods.

Biocides are used, for example, in industry, health care and animal production, as well as in many products. Biocides could be required for disinfection and maintaining proper hygiene, as well as to protect or preserve items and products. Safe and appropriate use of biocidal products requires a risk assessment and information on their effectiveness.

Biocides include

  • disinfectants for skin, surface and drinking water
  • pest control products, such as rodenticides and insecticides
  • preservatives and wood preservatives used in industry and industrial products
  • antifouling products used in vessels and aquaculture facilities.   

Biocidal products are divided into four main groups:

  • disinfectants
  • preservatives
  • pest control
  • other biocidal products.

In addition, biocidal products are divided into 22 different product types according to their specific use.

Plant protection products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and food additives are not biocides.

Biocidal products require authorisation

An authorisation can be granted to a product that contains active substances approved within the EU. Biocidal products must be authorised in every member state they are planned to be used.


Do you have any questions? Our helpdesk provides answers to questions relating to the REACH, CLP and Biocidal Products Regulations. The helpdesk is intended, for example, for the manufacturers, importers and distributors of biocides or biocide-treated articles.

Legislation on biocides

The procedure followed in the authorisation of biocidal products is laid down in the Biocidal Products Regulation. The aim of the Regulation is to improve the functioning of biocidal product markets within the EU and ensure high quality protection of human health and the environment.

In Finland, provisions regarding biocides that supplement the Biocidal Products Regulation are included in the chemicals legislation. The Chemicals Act lays down the procedures followed during national authorisation of some biocidal product types within the transitional period of the Biocidal Products Regulation, as well as provides for the collection of volume details, demonstration of professional qualification in pest control and submitting information on chemicals.