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Water Industry Forum: Biocidal Products Regulations

29 July 2015 | Paul Hardman

On Tuesday 21 July Gregg Latchams hosted a small forum for local experts within the water industry. Attendees included Tarn Pure, the worlds leading suppliers of copper-silver ionisation systems used to control and treat legionella, e-coli and other harmful water borne organisms; ThreeSixty Services, the only UK distributor of the Ecosoft Water Conditioner, a product that softens water without the use of chemicals; and ADI Environmental, specialists in water recycling and treatment.

First on the agenda was the deregulation of the domestic water markets in England planned for 2017. All agreed it would be interesting to see how this affects the marketplace and whether a national water grid could ever be possible. Of particular concern was the increased pressure on water resources and ecological and environmental sustainability.

Whilst reflecting on the current UK water treatment market our attendees concluded that cost consistently trumped innovation, whereas outside the UK R&D was considered far more commercially viable with proactive and innovative solutions being highly sought after and commanding considerably higher margins. The UKTI’s findings second this: rather than struggling to gain ground in the UK they recommend that the water industry target other countries that have a high GDP, low regulation and no competition, such as Vietnam.

A major hindrance to operating overseas and general pressure point for all our attendees was the effective management of their supply chain, procurement process and the industry’s ever-changing complex regulations. Each attendee agreed that further collaboration and sharing of knowledge and contacts was essential to overcoming these obstacles.

An example of this regulatory inconsistency and concern of our attendees are the Biocidal Products Regulations which vary from country to country and frequently change. As of September 1st 2015 no biocide can be placed on the EU market or used unless it has undergone rigorous testing and registration. This is expected to cause massive disruption to the industry and require significant knowledge and work on the side of the manufacturer to identify which countries allow specific biocides and subsequently what type of water treatment is appropriate.

Finally, in response to these changes a clear skills gap was identified: there is a desperate need for people with technical knowledge of water treatment methods and for lawyers who can understand the implications of the ever-changing, increasingly complicated Biocidal Products Regulations.

For further information about these regulations and Gregg Latchams work in the Manufacturing & Supply Chain sector please contact Paul Hardman on 0117 906 9425.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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