Poisons licence


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.


Author: MixoBiz

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