Guidance

Get your disinfectant approved by Defra

Find out about the process and costs to apply for Defra disinfectant approval.

If there is an outbreak of a notifiable animal or zoonotic disease, only Defra approved disinfectants can be used for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces like buildings, farm equipment, crates, and vehicles.

You are breaking the law if you market and sell as Defra approved a disinfectant that has not been tested and listed as approved.

To get your product approved by Defra it must:

Legislation

This scheme is underpinned by the The Diseases of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (England) Order 2007

The costs are set out in The Diseases of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (Fees and Amendment) (England) Order 2011

Before you apply

You need to decide which dilution of your product you want to have tested. Defra and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) can’t advise you which formulation or dilution will pass the tests.

You must make sure your product meets the following Health and Safety Executive (HSE) standards:

You must also:

Apply for disinfectant approval testing

You must complete the DDA1 application form and post or email a signed copy to:

Defra Disinfectants Approvals Administration Office
Room SE175, Stewart Stockman Building
Animal and Plant Health Agency
New Haw
Addlestone
Surrey
KT15 3NB
Tel: 0208 026 9609

Email: disinfectants@apha.gsi.gov.uk

APHA will assess your application and decide if your product can be accepted for testing for Defra approval. They will let you know their decision within 5 working days.

Download details of the APHA efficacy methodologies (PDF, 348KB, 6 pages) for more information.

Submit samples

If your product is accepted for testing you will be told where to send your samples, and how to pay for the tests.

See the application form for instructions on how to submit samples and packaging labels. You must not send any samples until APHA asks you to do so.

Approval testing fees

You must pay in advance for testing, but should wait until you know your product has been accepted for testing. You can pay by bank transfer, credit card or by cheque. You will receive a receipt once your payment has cleared.

UK companies will have to pay VAT on the fees shown in the following table. Companies outside the UK do not have to pay VAT.

Approval tests Fees per test (£)
Foot and mouth disease 1,920
Swine vesicular disease 1,920
Diseases of poultry and the avian influenza and influenza of avian origin in mammals:  
- single dilution test 1,040
- triple dilution test 1,400
Tuberculosis:  
- single dilution test 1,300
- triple dilution test 1,620
General Orders:  
- single dilution test 715
- triple dilution test 815
Administrative charge 1,000

You should receive the results within 12 weeks of submitting your samples. This may take longer due to urgent statutory work (eg responding to a disease outbreak).

Product approval

You will get a ‘conditions of approval’ letter if your product passes the APHA tests.

This letter will include a text box with some wording specific to your disinfectant and you must add this to your label. Email disinfectants@apha.gsi,gov.uk for more information about this wording.

You need to sign and return the letter with a copy of your prepared label to Defra Disinfectants Approvals Administration at APHA before your product can be added to the list. Your product is usually listed within 5 working days of APHA receiving your signed letter.

You can only label, market and sell your product as Defra approved when it is on the approved list. You can find the complete list of Defra approved disinfectants on the approved disinfectants list.

Approval lasts for 2 years. There is a renewal procedure and conditions to extend approval. There is no fee and you may not need to submit samples but APHA will ask you to provide some information.

Product changes

You must tell APHA if you change the formula of your approved disinfectant, or if any details you originally supplied have changed. APHA and Defra may decide to retest a product to make sure it is still effective. You will have to pay for these tests.

Product check tests

APHA runs random check tests on approved disinfectants. You will only know if your product has been chosen for check testing if it fails the tests.

You will be told the test results as soon as possible. Your product may be suspended from the list. You can re-submit the product for testing for which you have to pay the full test fees.

Fish farm disinfectant approval

To get your product listed as an approved disinfectant for fish farms, visit the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) website

Disinfectant enquiries

Email APHA for a list of frequently asked questions.