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Pesticides

In the late 1970s what was then the EEC adopted a number of legal acts relating to pesticides, among them a directive on maximum levels for pesticide residues in and on fruit and vegetables[1] [2] [3] and one prohibiting the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substancesTh Pesticides also became covered by rules on the classification, packaging, and labelling of dangerous preparations.[4] However, pesticides that were already on the market could continue to be sold unless the authorities had documented a concrete risk.3[5] It was only in 1991, through the adoption of 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market,[6] [7] that the EU got a comprehensive regulatory framework for a large group of pesticides. The Directive introduced a general, harmonised authorisation requirement for so-called plant protection products. For other pesticides a similar harmonising framework was established in 1998 through Directive 98/8/EC concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market.41 In 2009 the Directive on plant protection products was replaced by a regulation and in 2013 the Directive on biocidal products was replaced by another regulation, both discussed presently. These regulations are both based on the principle that a pesticide’s active substance(s) must be authorised at EU level while the authorisation of the pesticide itself is left to the individual Member States. However, a principle of mutual recognition applies once a pesticide has been authorised in one Member State.

  • [1] On classification see further N Herbatschek, L Bergkamp, and M Mihova ‘The REACHProgrammes and Procedures’ in L Bergkamp (ed) The European Union REACH Regulation forChemicals: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2013) 105—7.
  • [2] 36 Council Directive 76/895/EEC relating to the fixing of maximum levels for pesticide residues inand on fruit and vegetables [1976] OJ L 340/26.
  • [3] 37 Council Directive 79/117/EEC prohibiting the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances [1979] OJ L 33/36.
  • [4] Council Directive 78/631/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating tothe classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations (pesticides) [1978] OJ L 206/13.
  • [5] 39 P Pagh ‘EU:s reglering av bekampningsmedel: vaxtskyddsmedel och biocidprodukter’ in JEbbesson and D Langlet (eds) Koll pa kemikalier?: Rattsliga forandringar, mojligheter och begransningar(Iustus forlag, 2010) 123-54, 126.
  • [6] Council Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on themarket [1991] OJ L 230/1.
  • [7] Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing ofbiocidal products on the market [1998] OJ L 123/1. 42 Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning theplacing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/ 117/EEC and 91/414/EEC [2009] OJ L 309/1.
 
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