EU Council Advances New Detergents Regulation for Improved Safety and Compliance

Simona Mazzeo

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – The EU Council’s negotiating mandate on detergent regulation simplifies sales and movement regulations. It updates conditions and labelling, introduces digital labelling and product passports, aligns with existing legislation, and ensures health and environmental safety.

The EU Council has assumed its negotiating mandate on the detergents regulation that seeks to simplify the current regulations for the sale and free movement of detergents in the EU. The modified regulation updates the conditions and labelling of these products to make them secure and adapted to bulk sales. It also presents digital labelling and product passports.

How Will Digital Labelling Impact Detergents?

The negotiating mandate assumed sets out the EU Council’s standing on the proposal that the European Commission presented on 28 April. In particular, the EU Commission recommendation removed outdated or redundant provisions, introduced a voluntary digital labelling scheme, enabled the placing on the market of new products (i.e. detergents with micro-organisms), clarified the regulations for detergents sold in bulk and presented product passports to make enforcement easier and more effective. 

What Changes Are Proposed for Detergent Sales?

The EU Council’s position keeps the major elements of the regulation but presents several improvements and changes, in particular, to ensure coherence with existing EU legislation. The negotiating mandate aligns the responsibilities of economic operators to the existing horizontal legislation that involves the chemicals sector, such as the law on classification, labelling and packaging of chemical products (CLP). This will facilitate certain procedures such as the communication of data sheets of hazardous blends to poison centres. For products not categorised as hazardous in the CLP regulation, member states will be free to determine whether this information should be delivered before the product is placed on the market or not, in line with the current rules of that member state.

The Council’s position corrects the list of allergenic fragrances that should be displayed on the label of detergents to align it with the cosmetics law. The Commission will be assigned to update this list in the future via delegated acts.

What Are the Commission’s Future Responsibilities?

The position also includes a modification clause that requires the Commission to consider the risks to health and the environment of the most dangerous and biocidal substances to make sure that the detergents ruling is in line with new developments in the biocides’ regulation. A biocide is a chemical substance planned to exert a controlling effect (i.e. to destroy, deter or render harmless) against dangerous organisms. If needed, the Commission can offer amendments to the detergents regulation in this sense.

The European Council position also supports the labelling requirements for preservatives (substances that prevent decomposition or undesired chemical changes in a substance) and aligns them with the CLP and the biocides laws. Furthermore, it requires that industrial detergents should have a special warning label, showing that such detergents are meant for professional usage and cannot be sold to consumers.

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Simona Mazzeo is a journalist at Brussels Morning News. She is covering European Parliament, European Council, European Commission & Italy News. She is a law graduate and lawyer residing in Agropoli, has carved out a multifaceted career dedicated to justice and social advocacy. She actively serves as a delegated councilor for the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Bar Association of Vallo della Lucania, championing fair and equal representation within the legal system. Recognized for her expertise and empathy, Simona is qualified for registration in the list of Special Curators of minors in civil and criminal matters at the Court of Vallo della Lucania, ensuring the rights and interests of vulnerable children are protected throughout legal proceedings. Beyond her legal practice, Simona demonstrates a strong commitment to social causes. She is a founding member of the Free Lawyer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Additionally, she leverages her knowledge and passion for social justice as a non-professional journalist, contributing insightful and informative pieces on relevant legal and societal issues. Through her diverse endeavors, Simona Mazzeo exemplifies dedication to legal excellence, social responsibility, and a fervent belief in equal access to justice for all.