You may need a poisons licence if you’re selling products containing certain chemicals or ingredients. Poisons licences are issued by your local council.
The licence runs from 1 January until 31 December, whenever you apply. You’ll be sent a reminder to reapply by 31 May each year.
The following table shows some examples of the most common poisons requiring a licence.
|Poison||Concentration requiring a licence||Products these poisons may be found in|
|Alpha-chloralose||Any concentration||Rodent killer|
|Ammonia||10% or more||Window/glass cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners, polishing waxes, drain cleaners, oven cleaners|
|Formaldehyde||5% or more||Air freshener, fabric softener, carpet cleaner, upholstery cleaner|
|Formic acid||25% or more||Limescale remover, toilet cleaner|
|Hydrochloric acid||10% or more||Limescale remover, domestic cleaner, leather processing product|
|Hydrofluoric acid and fluorine-based compounds||Any, apart from 3% or more sodium silicofluoride and 3% or more sodium fluoride||Stain removers|
|Metallic oxalates||10% or more oxalic acid dehydrate||Leather and wood cleaner|
|Nitrobenzene||0.1% or more||Floor polish|
|Phenols||0.5% and less than 5% of other phenols||Liquid disinfectants and antiseptics|
|Potassium hydroxide||17% or more||Oven cleaner, drain cleaner|
|Sodium hydroxide||12% or more||Caustic soda, oven cleaner, drain cleaner|
Contact your local council if you’re not sure whether you’ll need a licence for a particular product. You could also contact the manufacturer or speak to your wholesaler.
You could be fined up to £500 (and an extra £5 for each day you continue to break the law) if you sell a poison not covered by your licence.
You could be fined up to £500 if you get in the way of a council inspection, don’t allow samples to be taken or don’t provide required information when asked.