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Biocidal Products Directive

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what are the total projected costs to British business of the amended European Union directive on the placing of biocidal products on the market; and what discussions he has had with British business interests on this matter. [16984]

I have had no direct discussions with British business about the Biocidal Products Directive. The Health and Safety Executive have consulted business on all aspects of this directive through regular meetings of a working group on biocides.When the directive is implemented, British business will benefit from the opening up of the EU-wide market in biocidal products and from the introduction of a single risk assessment procedure for approval of products, involving mutual recognition of product authorisations in all member states. HSE's estimate of the costs to industry of implementing the directive are set out in the cost benefit assessment (CBA) appended to the Department's Explanatory Memorandum 9600/97 submitted in August 1997. A copy has been placed in the Library.Costs are estimated on the basis of the additional costs over and above those which would be incurred by a compliance with existing chemical control regimes. The CBA shows estimated one-off costs in the range of £5–£20 million, with annual costs of around £6.7 million, depending on the number of new products placed on the market. This estimate of annual costs takes account of the significant reduction in costs achieved by the simplified administrative procedures negotiated by the United Kingdom. HSE are currently updating the cost estimates in the CBA in discussion with the Chemical Industries Association.