Across the EU manufacturers, product owners and marketing teams may be missing out on an important USP for their products, BPR compliance. If you are selling a product that benefits from an antimicrobial effect brought about by the addition of a biocidal ingredient (known as a Treated Article under the BPR), then you are no doubt advertising this important characteristic.
However, promoting your BPR compliance can take your product promotion to the next level. In this blog we’ll tell you why and show you how you can use BPR compliance to boost your sales.
What Is The BPR?
BPR stands for Biocidal Products Regulation, which is an EU regulation that was introduced in 2012 and came into force in September 2013. The BPR has been introduced to improve on the regulatory efforts of the BPD (Biocidal Products Directive) which had been in-place in the EU since 1998.
The BPR differs to its predecessor by both having new requirements for compliance and by including ‘Treated Articles’, which means any product that incorporates or has been treated with a Biocidal Product to impart a biocidal effect must also comply. So for example, a mosquito spray was covered by the BPD, but a sock treated with a biocidal product to impart odor-resistance was not in the scope of the BPD. The BPR covers three separate elements: the active substance, the biocidal product and how the biocidal product is used in the Treated Article.
You can learn more about the BPR’s history, what counts as a Biocidal Product or a Treated Article, the approval process and much more in our free download:
What Counts As A ‘Treated Article’ under the BPR?
A Treated Article is a substance, mixture or article which has been treated with, or intentionally incorporates, one or more Biocidal Products.
Examples of a Treated Article include:
- A tent which is made from fabric that is mold resistant
- A door handle that uses a chemical to make it antibacterial
- ‘Anti-odor’ socks which use a substance to prevent bacteria that cause odor
- Latex gloves that incorporate a substance to make them anti-viral
- A can of paint that uses a preservative to deter microorganisms
- A mattress that uses a substance in the fabric to make it resistant to dust mites
It is sometimes unclear as to whether your product is a Biocidal Product or a Treated Article, so in these cases an expert should always be consulted, because there are different rules for Biocidal Products and Treated Articled under the BPR.
How Can I be Sure My Product Is BPR Compliant?
If you have a regulatory or technical team within your business, they should know about the BPR and whether or not your Treated Article is compliant. If this resource isn’t available to you you should consider seeking the help of an expert.
BPR responsibility for a non-compliant Treated Article sits with the company placing that item on the market for sale in the EU, so it’s always best to confirm that you are compliant. We detail the regulatory authorities for each Member State in our free download ‘Guide To The BPR Treated Articles.
Why Is Marketing Related To The BPR?
If your regulatory expert says the Biocidal Product you’re using is compliant, that is not all that is needed to ensure your compliance. To be fully BPR compliant, your Treated Article needs some accompanying marketing collateral in order to satisfy Article 58. This includes, but is not limited to labelling requirements.
Find out about your responsibilities when placing a Treated Article on the market as well as the labelling, testing, and documentation necessary to achieve BPR compliance in our free guide available here to download.
Why Should I Use BPR Compliance As A USP?
You may be asking yourself, ‘should we really be promoting the use of a chemical in our product, isn’t that a bad idea?’
We can answer this concern by looking into some recent consumer data, because it turns out that public perception of the word ‘chemical’ is changing. Today’s consumer is an educated consumer. They demand greater transparency over the ingredients used in products they purchase, and they understand that most chemicals used are safe thanks to ever tightening regulations, and that they are included when necessary.
Recent research by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK has revealed that the public is surprisingly positive about chemistry, chemicals and chemists, you can view the full infographic here.
In addition more and more brands are improving their product transparency, take P&G and Unilever for example, who have introduced new sections to their website which offer a high level of detail on the ingredients (chemicals) that they use in their products.
So transparency is a great thing to offer your customers, and ‘chemical’ isn’t a negative word any longer, the final piece of the puzzle is proactivity. Being proactive takes your transparency to another level, and it’s far from a new concept for marketing efforts. We proudly display certifications, accreditations, awards and reviews on our product packaging. There is no reason that BPR compliance isn’t something to be proud of. And the more attention you pay to marketing your BPR compliance the more appreciation the public will have for the high standards that the BPR represents.
If your product is BPR compliant, this may be a feature that a competitive product does not have. And while we’re not suggesting you announce that a competitive product is non-compliant, those who are compliant should be happy to announce their compliance as a positive USP.
How Can I Use BPR Compliance In My Marketing?
Due to the stipulations in Article 58 of the BPR you are required to label and provide additional information about the Active Substances you use in your Treated Article where you make a biocidal claim, so you may as well try to make the most of this update and use it to your advantage.
Depending on your product, there will be an approach that works to improve your sales. This can range from adding the necessary labelling according to article 58 (you can find examples of how to do this in our free downloadable guide to the BPR), to a full campaign promoting the BPR’s many benefits.
The purpose of the BPR is to improve safety, not only for humans, but to help protect the environment – factors that make for a great marketing story.
“The purpose of this Regulation is to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonization of the rules on the making available on the market and the use of biocidal products, whilst ensuring a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment. The provisions of this Regulation are underpinned by the precautionary principle, the aim of which is to safeguard the health of humans, the health of animals and the environment.”
So why not run a campaign which not only details why you’ve updated your packaging, but why compliance is important to you as a company.
- If you are dedicated to environmental improvement, focus on the positive effect of eliminating certain chemicals from use in the EU.
- If you are focused on human safety issues, then celebrate that your product is BPR compliant, and hence the highest level of human safety has been achieved.
- If animal welfare is a strong selling point, then highlight the various ways the BPR is having a positive impact on wild, agricultural and domestic animals.
Above all else, transparency is key in using your BPR compliance as a sales marketing tool, and in an age when customers are highly informed it is a powerful tool if used correctly.
Want To Learn More About The BPR?
The official BPR documentation is technically written and quite difficult to understand unless you are a chemist or regulatory professional. That’s why our team have written an extensive guide on the BPR with a focus on Treated Articles, it’s available for free from our website and contains everything you need to know about BPR compliance in an easy to understand format.
In our guide you will learn:
- About the BPR
- What a Treated Article is
- Why Article 58 is so important for manufacturers and retailers
- How to comply, including Biocidal Products for compliance
- Which types of Active Substances can be used for which purpose
- Examples of compliant labelling