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Plant protection products

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products (PPPs) on the market was adopted in 2009.42 It repeals Directive 91/414/EEC as well as the Directive from 1979 prohibiting the placing on the market and use of PPPs containing certain active substances. The reason for choosing a regulation rather than a directive was to simplify application of the new act and to ensure consistency throughout the Member States.

The Regulation is based on three articles, namely those corresponding to the current Article 43 TFEU on agriculture, Article 114 TFEU on the internal market, and Article 168 TFEU on public health. It is not indicated what parts of the Directive are based on which Treaty articles.

The Regulation aims to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the placing on the market of PPPs, while improving agricultural production.

It does so by laying down rules for the authorisation of PPPs, and their constituents, in commercial form and for their placing on the market, use, and control within the EU. The provisions of the Regulation are underpinned by the precautionary principle. It shall not prevent Member States from applying that principle where there is scientific uncertainty as to the risks with regard to human or animal health or the environment posed by the PPPs to be authorised in their territory (Art 1). The measures provided for in the Regulation should apply without prejudice to other EU legislation, including the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC).[1]

PPPs usually contain more than one component. The part of the product that is intended to give it effect as a pesticide is called ‘active substance’.[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] The Regulation applies to products—in the form in which they are supplied to the user—consisting of or containing active substances, safeners,45 or synergists/6 and intended for any one of a number of listed uses. Among these are protecting plants or plant products against all harmful organisms or preventing the action of such organisms; influencing the life processes of plants; and destroying undesired plants or parts of plants. It is thus the intended use of a product, not its properties, that determines whether it is a PPP The Regulation also applies to so-called co-formulants47 and adjuvants/8 (Art 2.)

As under the previous Directive, active substances are to be authorised by means of a common procedure (Chapter II), whereas PPPs are authorised by the individual Member States (Chapter III).

  • [1] Preambular para 47.
  • [2] More specifically, active substances are substances, including micro-organisms, having general orspecific action against harmful organisms or on plants, parts of plants, or plant products. Art 2.
  • [3] ‘Safeners’ are substances or preparations which are added to a plant protection product to eliminate or reduce phytotoxic effects of the plant protection product on certain plants. Art 2.
  • [4] 46 ‘Synergists’ are substances or preparations which, while showing no or only weak activity as a PPP,can give enhanced activity to the active substance(s) in a PPP. Art 2.
  • [5] 47 ‘Co-formulants’ are substances or preparations which are used or intended to be used in a plantprotection product or adjuvant, but are neither active substances nor safeners or synergists. Art 2.
  • [6] ‘Adjuvants’ are substances or preparations which consist of co-formulants or preparations containing one or more co-formulants, in the form in which they are supplied to the user and placed onthe market to be mixed by the user with a plant protection product and which enhance its effectivenessor other pesticidal properties. Art 2.
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