Category Archives: Regulation

Cochinilla en plátano

New classification for dangerous pests, priority and quarantine pests

Priority pests will be tied to stricter rules; more EU Member States may receive funding to eliminate them

One more step, the second to last already, towards the entry into force of new rules on protective measures against plant pests. The EU Council has approved the new regulations and the only measure left is the green light by European Parliament. Its entry into force is planned for early 2017 and may be applied in three years from that date.

According to the new law on plant health, which will replace the current Directive (2000/29 / EC), the most dangerous pests (quarantine) will be better defined and divided into “priority epidemics” and “other quarantine pests”.

This  way, priority pests “will be subject to stricter eradication and public information rules while more Member States will be able to receive greater financial support from Brussels to eliminate them”, said the European Council in a statemente.

The plant health passport

Pests. Aphid on pear

Among the measures intended to boost supervision and promote early eradication of pests is the extension, simplification and harmonization of the plant health passport, mandatory for the circulation of plants among professional traders within the EU

Likewise, the text will require professional traders to register in order to ensure simpler controls and a better traceability of plant circulation.

The new regulation will also contain measures to deal with pests introduced from non-EU countries, according to an approach based on the risk level.

Imported materials, risk level

Thus, in order to quickly identify pest risk probability and other plant health risks, a system for the prior assessment of plants and materials from third countries will be introduced. Once identified, temporary bans will be imposed to those plants involving risk, intended to prevent the introduction of pests in the European Union territory.

Professional traders dedicated to import of plants and vegetable products will need a phytosanitary certificate, just as will clients of postal and Internet services and passengers importing plants susceptible to pest risks. However, individual travelers importing small quantities of plants for private use would be exempt.

When a diseased plant is identified, it will be included in a list of high risk plants, and therefore will not be able to obtain the European certificate.

The stance of the EU Council confirms the agreement reached with the European Parliament in December 2015, also approved by the Twenty-eight permanent ambassadors last May. Only remains pending the approval by the European Parliament at second reading.

See the full document on the proposed Regulation of protection measures against plant pests here.




Inspección equipos de aplicación de fitosanitarios

Inspection of gear for plant health products application

Where are they performed? What kind of equipment must pass the inspection? What elements are inspected? How often should they be inspected? All about inspections:

All equipment for the application of plant health products should be inspected at least once before November 26th, 2016, according to Royal Decree 1702/2011, which sets no postponements. This means that, effective that date, equipment that have not been inspected shall not be used.

Inspection frequency

From that point on, frequency of inspections, as indicated by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, should be as follows:

  • New gear: In the first five years after purchase
  • Further inspections: Every five years, except for certain holders that will have triennial inspections
  • From 2020: Every three years

Inspection fulfillment

Farmers can freely chose the season to perform the inspection, while the holder may be present during the procedure. If the inspection results are adverse, for example, a serious flaw is found, the equipment cannot be used until defective items are repaired.

Inspections are carried out in accordance with the Inspections Manual issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment:ón_de_equipos_de_aplicación_de_fitosanitario1_tcm7-191068.pdf

Elements to be inspected

The elements of the equipment for the application of health plant products to be inspected are:

  • Power transmission elements
  • Pump
  • Agitation
  • Spray liquid tank
  • Measuring and regulation and control systems
  • Pipes and hoses
  • Filtering
  • Spray bars, in equipment that include them
  • Nozzles
  • Distribution
  • Pneumatic system, in equipment that include them


  1. Pressure gauge
  2. Pressure regulation
  3. Nozzles flow

Types of equipment that must pass inspection

1.- Mobile equipment engaged in agricultural activities

  • Hydraulic sprayers (bars or pistols)
  • Hydropneumatic sprayers (atomizers)
  • Pneumatic (nebulizers) and centrifugal sprayers
  • Shakers

2.- Stationary and fixed equpment inp remises and greenhouses
3.- Application equpment for aerial treatment
4.- Mobile teams dedicted to other non-agricultural use

This kind of equipment must be pre-registered in the Official Register of Agricultural Machinery (ROMA)

os equipos deben estar previamente inscritos en el Registro Oficial de Maquinaria Agrícola (ROMA)

Where inspections are carried out

Technical inspection stations for plant health products application equipment (ITEAF) are authorized, entitled and controlled by each autonomous community government in Spain. ITEAF must have mobile units and inspections may be carried out on these or in fixed station facilities.

ITEAF authorized by Region: :

Regulation context

The proper application of pesticides requires a homogeneous distribution of the product, and that it complies with the approved and recommended doses, in order to avoid adverse harmful effects on human health and the environment. Poor settings in application equipment or machines can lead to irregular distributions and defects, failures or misalignments can cause product leaks or spills in inappropriate places.

The December 20th, 43/2002 Law on plant health, seeks to guarantee that plant health means gather all the necessary conditions and lays down the basic provisions on the requirements these means must comply with, its rational use attending, regarding to application equipment, both the use conditions of the pesticide applied in each case and the maintenance and tuning requirements of such equipment, official controls to verify compliance with those provisions and support tools necessary for conducting corresponding inspections.

Meanwhile, the October 21st Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and Council that establishes the Sustainable Use of Pesticides lays down certain mandatory requirements in this area. Article 8 and Annex II establish that application equipment for plant health products must work properly, ensuring product distribution accuracy and dosing, as well as the absence of leaks in filling, emptying and maintenance operations.

In order to implement and develop the regulations mentioned above, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment published November 18th Royal Decree 1702/2011 on mandatory inspections of equipment for the application of plant health products. Thus are established official controls for the verification of compliance with the requirements for maintenance and tuning of this equipment, the basic regulation for inspection, and the necessary rules of coordination with the autonomous communities’ governments, with an authorization regime for stations that perform the technical inspections.

Source: Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment




New regulations: EU endorses organic and waste-based fertilizers

  • It will facilitate free circulation of organic fertilizers in the EU, putting them on equal terms with inorganic fertilizers

  • The regulation will offer greater market opportunities for innovative companies

Free circulation of organic and waste-based fertilizers in the EU market will become a reality after the new fertilizer regulation proposed by the European Commission is approved. Thus, they will be on an equal footing with inorganic fertilizers. Current regulations –effective since 2003– exclude fertilizers made from organic materials, so that their access to the community market had major obstacles due to the divergence of national rules.

“From the plentiful of resources available in the form of organic waste, very little of them are transformed into valuable fertilizer. Our farmers use fertilizers made of imported resources or with a lot of energy use involved, even though our industry could make bio-waste into valuable recycled nutrients”.

The phrase belongs to Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of its Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness area, while he was introducing the proposed new provisions on organic and waste-based fertilizers, which will greatly facilitate their access to the EU’s community market, “placing them on an equal footing with traditional inorganic fertilizers”.

This will create new market opportunities for innovative companies, while reducing the volume of waste, energy consumption and damage to the environment, argues the European Commission. “The new Regulation will help us turn challenges into opportunities for farmers and businesses”, says Katainen.

These new provisions would be the first measure of the circular economy package adopted in December 2015, which has the reuse of raw materials currently disposed of as waste as one of its key principles. This way, the European Union values the use of more environmentally friendly products.

Biowaste conversion

The new text lays down common rules about the conversion of bio-waste into raw materials that can be used to manufacture fertilizers. It defines the requirements for safety, quality and labeling requirements all fertilizer products must comply with in order to be freely sold throughout the EU. “Producers will have to demonstrate their products meet these requirements and comply with the limits for organic pollutants, microbial contaminants and physical impurities before marking them with the CE label”, says the European Commission.

In this sense, the Regulation sets strict limits for cadmium in phosphate fertilizers. The limits will become more stringent, from 60 mg/kg to 40 mg/kg in three years, and 20 mg/kg in twelve years, thus reducing health and environment risks.

The new rules will apply to all types of fertilizers in order to ensure the highest level of soil protection.

CE labels or national standards

Since some fertilizers are not produced or marketed across borders in large quantities, the Commission proposes optional harmonization: the manufacturer may choose, depending on its business strategy and product type, the CE labels, which enables its free trade on the domestic market in accordance with common European standards, or to sell it according to national standards based on mutual recognition in the community market. This guarantees the regulation improvement and subsidiarity principles are taken into account.

The scope of the current 2003 Regulation does not include “innovative fertilizers obtained from organic materials”, since it only guarantees free circulation within the internal market of conventional inorganic fertilizers, which “are usually obtained from mining or produced by chemical processes that consume energy and generate a lot of CO2”.

Thus, access organic fertilizers to the EU market of currently depends on mutual recognition among Member States and, “due to the divergence of national rules, it is often difficult”, stated the European Commission.

Besides, the Regulation on fertilizers in force “does not address the environmental concerns arising from contamination of soils, inland waters, marine waters and, ultimately, food”.

“Today, only 5% of bio-wastes are recycled. According to estimates, if more IP/16/827 biowaste were recycled, they could substitute up to 30% of inorganic fertilizers”, said the same sources, while highlighting the fact that “each year, the EU imports about 6 million tons of phosphates, and it could replace up to 30% of that extracting them from sewage sludge, biodegradable waste, meat and bone meal or manure”.

European Parliament and Council

The draft regulation will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council, which must adopt it. Once adopted, it will be directly applicable without transposition into national law, after a transitional period for enterprises and public authorities to adapt to the new rules.

Source: European Commission