Washing and cleaning agents (detergents) are subject to complex legal requirements, particularly because according to the CLP Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures) they frequently contain hazardous substances. The core regulations to this product group can be found in the European Detergents Regulation (EC) No. 648/2004, as well as the German Washing and Cleaning Agents Act (WRMG) of 29 April 2007.
The Detergents Regulation defines the regulated product groups and describes the requirements for the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of surfactants in detergents. Furthermore, the Regulation regulates the exemptions for the marketing of surfactants in detergents which do not meet the requirements in terms of ultimate aerobic biodegradability. Finally, the Regulation contains important labelling provisions for detergents and states the information obligations of the manufacturers.
The WRMG not only (German Washing and Cleaning Agents Act) implements the regulations of the European Detergents Regulation in the German legal system, but also contains additional guidelines for the production and distribution of various products which are not covered by the Detergents Regulation. For instance, surfactant-containing cosmetic products that are intended for cleaning are also covered by the WRMG as well as pure care products, which get into the waste water with the next cleaning (cleansing) procedure.