Following the publication of the Report on the implementation of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), representatives from EU Member States’ Environment Ministries discussed the current situation of the Review Programme with the Commission during an EU Environment Council meeting on 6 October. Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius highlighted the “very slow progress” – only 35 percent completed – in the review of existing biocidal substances, as required by the BPR.

Despite national authorities identifying a “serious lack of resources at national level” as a main reason for the delay, Commissioner Sinkevičius reminded delegates that the Commission had invited Member States to review the fees that they collect from applicants to cover the costs related to the BPR procedures.

Belgium intervened in the debate, stressing that necessary measures to review its own situation and prepare for implementation have been taken, with huge progress made in finalising biocidal authorisations in accordance with deadlines. However, Belgium noted that additional steps are needed to achieve the regulation’s objectives, given, in particular, recent unforeseen circumstances such as Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also intervening, Netherlands voiced its full support for the Commission’s position, highlighting the need to finalise the Review Programme and thereby achieve the regulation’s goals.

MCEC considers the comments from these two Member States encouraging. However, it is regrettable for the sake of the review programme that only two national authority delegates intervened in this discussion.