Sell on Amazon Sign In
This article applies to selling in: Italy

Requirements for Detergent Products

EU requirements: EU Regulation 648/2004/EC (the “EU Detergents Regulation”) sets out the requirements relating to the sale of detergent products in the EU. The requirements relate to biodegradability, dosage information, and information to be provided to the consumer via the labelling of ingredients and websites. The EU Detergents Regulation also sets out obligations of manufacturers, importers, and distributors.

It is your responsibility to comply with the EU requirements if you are selling detergents in the EU. You must also comply with national laws and regulations in Member States in which you sell these products.

Please see below for further information about EU requirements.

UK requirements: Until the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020), the EU Detergents Regulation sets out the requirements relating to the sale of detergent products in the UK. The requirements relate to biodegradability, dosage information, and information to be provided to the consumer via the labelling of ingredients and websites. The EU Detergents Regulation also sets out obligations of manufacturers, importers, and distributors.

After the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020), an amended version of the EU Detergents Regulation will apply to the sale of detergents in the UK as a result of The Detergents (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “UK Regulation on Detergent Products”). Different rules apply to goods you sell in: (1) Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales); and (2) Northern Ireland. We have noted below where there will be relevant changes in the UK requirements following the Brexit transition period.

It is your responsibility to comply with the UK requirements if you sell detergents in the UK. If you also sell detergents on Amazon EU websites, then you must also comply with the requirements of the EU Detergents Regulation and with other national requirements in the countries in which you sell these products.

Please see below for further information about UK requirements.

This material is for informational purposes and you should not take it as a substitute for legal advice. We encourage you to consult your legal counsel for any concerns about the laws and regulations concerning your product. This material only reflects the position at the date of writing and requirements across the EU and in the UK may change – particularly in light of the developing position with Brexit. You should refer to current UK Brexit guidance about your products (where available) to learn more about changes that may affect you following the end of the transition period.

EU requirements: What products do the EU requirements apply to?

The EU Detergents Regulation sets out requirements and obligations relating to detergents. "Detergents" are “any substance or preparation containing soaps and/or other surfactants (active ingredients in detergents) intended for washing and cleaning processes”. They can be in any form (liquid, powder, paste, bar, cake, molded piece, shape, etc.). They can be advertised or used for household, industrial, or institutional purposes. However, note that ‘professional use only’ detergents are not permitted to be sold on Amazon.

The following are also considered detergents:

  • ‘Auxiliary washing preparation’, intended for soaking (pre-washing), rinsing or bleaching clothes, household linen, etc.
  • ‘Laundry fabric-softener’, intended to modify the feel of fabrics in processes, which are to complement the washing of fabrics.
  • ‘Cleaning preparation’, intended for domestic all purposes cleaners and/or other cleaning of surfaces (e.g.: materials, products, machinery, mechanical appliances, means of transport and associated equipment, instruments, apparatus, etc.)
  • ‘Other cleaning and washing preparations’, intended for any other washing and cleaning processes.

Note: Amazon does not accept ‘professional use only’ products (industrial or institutional purpose). Please check with the manufacturer/SDS before shipping your products to Amazon. In the event of ‘professional use only’ products being received at an Amazon fulfilment center, Amazon might dispose of the units at your cost and without compensation.
Note: Depending on the ingredients, detergents are required to comply with the labelling requirements in CLP regulation and/or with the requirements of biocidal product regulation.

Who has obligations under the EU requirements for detergents?

The EU Detergents Regulation imposes obligations on manufacturers. You will be a manufacturer for the purposes of the Detergents Regulation if you are responsible for selling or supplying a detergent or a surfactant for a detergent in the EU.

In particular, you will be deemed a manufacturer:

  • If you are a producer, an importer, a packager working for your own account;
  • If you change the characteristics of a detergent or of a surfactant for a detergent; or
  • If you create or change the labelling for a detergent or surfactant for a detergent

If you are a distributor and you do not change the characteristics, labelling or packaging of a detergent, or of a surfactant for a detergent, you will not be deemed a manufacturer, unless you act as the importer.

Manufacturers of detergents or surfactants for detergents must be established in the EU. Manufacturers are responsible for the conformity of detergents or surfactants for detergents under the EU Detergents Regulation.

What are the key obligations on manufacturers under the EU regulation for detergent products?

Content:

The tiered regime for surfactants to ensure biodegradability standards are as follows :

  • Surfactants and detergents containing surfactants that meet the criteria for “ultimate aerobic biodegradation” can be offered for sale in the EU without further biodegradability limitations.
  • Industrial or institutional detergents containing surfactants that do not pass the “ultimate aerobic biodegradation”, but pass the less stringent primary biodegradability test may be sold in the EU provided the manufacturer is granted derogation by the competent authority of the relevant Member State.

Labeling:

The following information must appear on the used packaging to sell detergents to consumers:

  • Name and trade name of the product;
  • Name or trade name or trademark, full address, and telephone number of the party responsible for offering the product for sale;
  • The address, email address (if available), and telephone number from which the datasheet can be obtained;
  • Content (ingredients);
  • Instructions for use and special precautions; and
  • Specific labelling requirements for consumer laundry detergents as stated at Section B, Annex VII of the EU Detergents Regulation.

The following information is particularly required regarding the content (ingredients):

  • Several types of ingredients, such as phosphates, surfactants, bleaching agents, added in a concentration above 0.2 % by weight. For more details related to legislation, refer to the link at the bottom of this page.
  • "Optical brighteners," "perfumes," "enzymes," and "disinfectants" must be listed irrespective of their concentration.
  • Preservation agents must be listed irrespective of their concentration, where possible using their International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (“INCI”) name.
  • Certain fragrance ingredients in concentrations exceeding 0.01 % by weight must be listed on the packaging of detergents, using their INCI name.

There might be specific Member State language requirements that you must adhere to as well. You also need to ensure that your detergent complies with the EU CLP Regulation.

Information:

If you are considered a manufacturer for the purposes of the EU Detergents Regulation, you must be able to make following information available to the competent authorities of Member States:

  • Testing information (see Annex III of the EU Detergents Regulation)
  • Technical files: in respect of surfactants that have not passed specific testing as well as where a derogation request has been made
  • Testing documentation
  • Ingredient datasheets

Note: You must also immediately provide ingredient datasheets to medical personnel upon request, without any charge. The medical personnel (or as relevant, public body) has to keep this information confidential and only use it for medical purposes.

Manufacturers need to make available on a website a summary of the ingredient data sheet mentioned above for any consumer-use detergent. Access to the website shall not be subject to any restriction or condition and the content of the website needs to be kept up to date. The website shall include a link to the Commission Pharmacos website or to any other suitable website that provides a table of correspondence between INCI names, European Pharmacopoeia names, and CAS numbers.

Do distributors have obligations relating to detergents?

Although the EU Detergents Regulation does not impose obligations on distributors as long as they do not change the characteristics, labelling or packaging of a detergent, or of a surfactant for a detergent, distributors have obligations under the General Product Safety Directive when selling to consumers.

These include:

  • A general obligation of due care in respect of safety requirements.
  • An obligation to inform authorities if they know or ought to know on the basis of information in their possession about product posing a risk to consumers because it does not comply with the general safety requirement.
  • An obligation to cooperate with authorities at their request to avoid risks posed by products they supply or have supplied.

Additional Information

We strongly encourage you to visit the European Commission’s website for more information on the Detergents Regulation:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02004R0648-20150601

UK requirements: What products are in the scope of the UK requirements for detergents?

The UK requirements for detergents sets out requirements and obligations relating to detergents sold in the UK, but the provisions apply differently to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales, “GB”) and Northern Ireland. You can read more about the position in Northern Ireland (“NI”) below. “Detergents” are “any substance or preparation containing soaps and/or other surfactants (active ingredients in detergents) intended for washing and cleaning processes”. They can be in any form (liquid, powder, paste, bar, cake, molded piece, shape, etc.). They can be advertised or used for household, industrial, or institutional purposes. However, note that ‘professional use only’ detergents are not permitted to be sold on Amazon.

The following are also considered detergents:

  • ‘Auxiliary washing preparation’, intended for soaking (pre-washing), rinsing or bleaching clothes, household linen, etc.
  • ‘Laundry fabric-softener’, intended to modify the feel of fabrics in processes, which are to complement the washing of fabrics.
  • ‘Cleaning preparation’, intended for domestic all purposes cleaners and/or other cleaning of surfaces (e.g.: materials, products, machinery, mechanical appliances, means of transport and associated equipment, instruments, apparatus, etc.)
  • ‘Other cleaning and washing preparations’, intended for any other washing and cleaning processes.

Note: Amazon does not accept ‘professional use only’ products (industrial or institutional purpose). Please check with the manufacturer/SDS before shipping your products to Amazon. In the event of ‘professional use only’ products being received at an Amazon fulfillment center, Amazon might dispose of the units at your cost and without compensation.
Note: Depending on the ingredients, detergents are required to comply with the labelling requirements in CLP regulation and/or with the requirements of biocidal product regulation.

Who has obligations under the UK requirements for detergents?

The UK requirements for detergents imposes obligations on manufacturers. You will be a manufacturer for the purposes of the UK requirements for detergents if you are responsible for selling or supplying a detergent or a surfactant for a detergent in GB.

In particular, you will be deemed a manufacturer:

  • If you are a producer, an importer, a packager working for your own account;
  • If you change the characteristics of a detergent or of a surfactant for a detergent; or
  • If you create or change the labelling for a detergent or surfactant for a detergent

If you are a distributor and you do not change the characteristics, labelling or packaging of a detergent, or of a surfactant for a detergent, you will not be deemed a manufacturer, unless you act as the importer.

Until the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020), manufacturers of detergents or surfactants for detergents must be established in the EU. After the end of the Brexit transition period, manufacturers must be established in GB. Manufacturers are responsible for the conformity of detergents or surfactants for detergents under the EU Detergents Regulation and UK Regulation on Detergent Products.

What are the key obligations on manufacturers under the UK regulation for detergent products?

Content:

The tiered regime for surfactants to ensure biodegradability standards are as follows :

  • Surfactants and detergents containing surfactants that meet the criteria for “ultimate aerobic biodegradation” can be offered for sale in GB without further biodegradability limitations.
  • Industrial or institutional detergents containing surfactants that do not pass the “ultimate aerobic biodegradation”, but pass the less stringent primary biodegradability test may be sold in GB provided the manufacturer is granted derogation by the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Labeling:

The following information must appear on the used packaging to sell detergents to consumers:

  • Name and trade name of the product;
  • Name or trade name or trademark, full address, and telephone number of the party responsible for offering the product for sale;
  • The address, email address (if available), and telephone number from which the datasheet can be obtained;
  • Content (ingredients);
  • Instructions for use and special precautions; and
  • Specific labelling requirements for consumer laundry detergents as stated at Section B, Annex VII of the EU Detergents Regulation and the UK Regulation on Detergent Products.

The following information is particularly required regarding the content (ingredients):

  • Several types of ingredients, such as phosphates, surfactants, bleaching agents, added in a concentration above 0.2 % by weight. For more details related to legislation, refer to the link at the bottom of this page.
  • "Optical brighteners," "perfumes," "enzymes," and "disinfectants" must be listed irrespective of their concentration.
  • Preservation agents must be listed irrespective of their concentration, where possible using their International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (“INCI”) name.
  • Certain fragrance ingredients in concentrations exceeding 0.01 % by weight must be listed on the packaging of detergents, using their INCI name.

The labelling information provided should be clear, legible, and easily understandable in English. You also need to ensure that your detergent complies with the EU CLP Regulation (until the end of the Brexit transition period, December 31, 2020) and the UK CLP Regime (for products sold in GB after the end of the Brexit transition period).

Information:

If you are considered a manufacturer for the purposes of the UK requirements for detergents, you must be able to make the following information available to the UK competent authorities of:

  • Testing information (see Annex III of the EU Detergents Regulation and the UK Regulation on Detergent Products, as applicable)
  • Technical files: in respect of surfactants that have not passed specific testing as well as where a derogation request has been made
  • Testing documentation
  • Ingredient datasheets

Note: You must also immediately provide ingredient datasheets to medical personnel upon request, without any charge. The medical personnel (or as relevant, public body) has to keep this information confidential and only use it for medical purposes.

Manufacturers need to make available on a website a summary of the ingredient data sheet mentioned above for any consumer-use detergent. Access to the website shall not be subject to any restriction or condition and the content of the website needs to be kept up to date. The website shall include a link to the Commission Pharmacos website or to any other suitable website that provides a table of correspondence between INCI names, European Pharmacopoeia names, and CAS numbers.

Do distributors have obligations relating to detergents?

Although the UK requirements for detergent products do not impose obligations on distributors as long as they do not change the characteristics, labelling, or packaging of a detergent, or of a surfactant for a detergent, distributors have obligations under the UK General Product Safety Regulations when selling to consumers.

These include:

  • A general obligation of due care in respect of safety requirements.
  • An obligation to inform authorities if they know or ought to know on the basis of information in their possession about product posing a risk to consumers because it does not comply with the general safety requirement.
  • An obligation to cooperate with authorities at their request to avoid risks posed by products they supply or have supplied.

Note: Products that are first made available in the EU or UK on or before December 31, 2020, can continue to circulate until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that take effect from January 1, 2021. You can retain evidence of when products were first made available in the UK or EU by keeping documents including contracts of sale, invoices and documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution.

Northern Ireland

Please note that different rules will apply in NI from January 1, 2021 as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In particular:

  • You should ensure that products meet EU requirements.
  • You are a manufacturer if you are established in the EU or NI and you sell products from a country outside of the EU and Northern Ireland (including from GB) into NI. Products sold in NI should be marked with details of any EU / NI based manufacturer.
  • “Qualifying Northern Ireland goods” will be able to be sold in GB. The UK Government is issuing guidance on how this will work.

Additional Information

For more information on the requirements for detergent products in the UK, we strongly encourage you to review the following UK Government guidance:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/detergents/index.htm

We also encourage you to visit the Business Companion website, which contains guidance on UK product compliance rules:

https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/get-started

Sign in to use the tool and get personalized help (desktop browser required). Sign In


Reach hundreds of millions of customers

Start selling on Amazon


© 1999-2021, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates