Information regarding Detergents Regulation after 1 January 2021.

Who is the Competent Authority?

The Competent Authority in the UK was the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in England up to 31 December 2020. DAERA takes over the Competent Authority role for NI from 1 January 2021.

Who do the Detergents Regulations apply to?

Anyone importing or manufacturing detergents in NI will need to comply with the relevant regulation - Regulation (EC) No 648/2004.

Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 relating to Detergents applies throughout the European Union. The regulation is included in Annex 2 of the Northern Ireland Protocol as EU law that will continue to apply to NI after the end of the transition period.

Guidance on the implementation of the EU Detergents Regulation can be viewed at Detergents ( and Detergents Guidance (

What are the main provisions of Regulation 648/2004?

Regulation 648/2004:

  • Provides for free movement and protection of the environment;
  • Defines the meaning of detergents and manufactures’ duties;
  • Sets the biodegradability testing requirements for detergents;
  • Requires contents information to be provided on detergent labels;
  • Requires manufacturers to produce data sheets to provide medical professionals and users with relevant information;
  • Sets limits for the amount of phosphates in detergents

Who is the enforcement authority for NI?

Enforcement of the regulations is undertaken by the local councils as before. In the case of significant water pollution incidents involving detergents NIEA is also a relevant enforcing authority.

Further information on Detergents

If you would like any further information please contact the EPD & RNRPD Policy Correspondence team at in DAERA.


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