The review of biocidal active substances should be completed by the end of 2024. With only four years to go, two thirds of the work is still ahead. In February 2020, ECHA, national authorities and the European Commission agreed on an action plan to speed up the process.
In 2018, ECHA carried out a survey with Member States to better understand the root causes for the slow progress. Five main issues were identified:
- Competing priorities for the assessment work,
- Insufficient resources in Member States,
- Complexity of the assessment process,
- Lack of workable practices, and
- Insuficient data in applications.
To achieve the goals ECHA kicked off a series of intensive actions in 2019 and 2020 to support Member States that are acting as evaluating competent authorities. These are mainly related to:
- Priority setting and identifying cases where targeted assistance is needed,
- Providing direct help to Member States in assessing active substances,
- Coordinating the work on similar active substances that are evaluated by different Member States, to ensure that these are assessed simultaneously and so effective discussions can take place in the working groups, and
- Organising specific trainings for Member States.
As a result of this support, the Agency expects to see a significant increase in cases where evaluating competent authorities ask for help with their assessments. This would, in turn, have a positive impact on the number of opinions that the Biocidal Products Committee gives by the end of the year 2020.
Source: ECHA Newsletter