Derogation for hand disinfectants in Germany

5 March, 2020

Germany’s Federal Agency for Chemicals announced on the 4th of March that they would be temporarily allowing hand disinfectants containing 2-propanol which are not authorised to be placed on the market, as according to Article 55(1) of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).

This Article enables Member States, in cases of danger to public health, animal health or the environment which cannot be contained by other means, to allow for a short period of time the making available on the market and use of products not authorised in accordance with the BPR. According to the announcement, the decision to allow for this derogation was made in light of the ongoing coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak and the resulting reduction in availability of hand disinfectants across the country’s pharmacies and drugstores. Despite the relatively low number of cases in Germany, the authority deems that the insufficient availability of such hand disinfectants would result in a significant danger to public health.

The decision by the authority also sets out the specifications of the products which are affected by the temporary derogation. Namely, only hand disinfectants with a specific formula as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are within the scope of the decision. The derogation is set to expire on the 31st of August 2020.