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Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 is the Regulation on detergents. The objective of this Regulation is to harmonise the rules for the placing on the market of detergents and of surfactants for detergents.

Paragraph 30 of the Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 states that tests specified for the biodegradability of surfactants should be carried out in laboratories meeting an internationally recognised standard, namely EN/ISO/IEC/17025 or the principles of good laboratory practice.

Article 5(2) on the granting of derogation states that applications for derogation shall include a technical file supplying all the information and results of tests necessary for evaluating the safety aspects related to the specific use of surfactants in detergents failing to comply with the biodegradability limits. The tests shall be carried out on the basis of an approach defined in a technical guidance document, which will specify those tests for which the principles of good laboratory practice should be applied.

Article 7 on the testing of surfactants requires that tests on detergents shall be conducted in compliance with EN ISO/IEC standard or the principles of good laboratory practice, except for those tests for which the principles of good laboratory
practice have been made mandatory.

Article 8(2) on the duties of Member States requires that each Member State shall notify to the other Member States and to the Commission the list of approved laboratories that are competent and authorised to carry out the tests required by Regulation (EC) No 648/2004. Member States have to demonstrate the competence of the above laboratories according to the standard EN ISO/IEC 17025 or verify the compliance of these laboratories with the principles of good laboratory practice.

Annex I defines standards of accreditation, good laboratory practice and animal protection concerning the laboratories that are competent and authorised to provide the necessary service for checking compliance of detergents with the requirements of this Regulation and its Annexes.

The receiving authorities for Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 are the Member State competent authorities.

Further information on detergents can be found on the European Commission's website for Directorate General Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR).

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