Newsletter May 2023

Visiting the users

Twice a year, the Board, management and a number of secretariat staff visit agricultural/horticultural companies to gain insight into the use of authorised products in practice. One visitation day focuses on plant protection products and the other on biocidal products. In April we visited several flower bulb operations located at the top of North Holland, where we were hospitably received. At the various companies we learned about recent innovations and developments in sustainability in the flower bulb sector and we were impressed by the commitment and creativity we encountered. For example, we saw how one grower is reducing use of plant protection products as much as possible by using precision spraying against pests and diseases, which requires a major investment. We also saw what it means to switch to organic bulb growing and how much investment, courage and persistence this long process requires.

It was a very interesting day; the growers brought us up to date with their practices, and we did the same with them. This gave us more insight into the constraints they are experiencing and we explained where we are struggling and helped them understand exactly what our role is. During this field visit we once again realised that not everyone understands that the Ctgb is an implementing organisation and what this entails – for example that we do not determine the policies and frameworks within which we operate. A visitation day like this one truly contributes to mutual understanding. For example, one question was asked that we hear quite frequently: "Why are products that are authorised for edible crops not authorised for ornamental horticulture?" We explained that the authorised uses that are requested in product applications are chosen by industry, so it is important for users in the sector to communicate their needs to these applicants.

At the conclusion of the day, one grower remarked: "Now I was able to see that the Ctgb is not a machine, but is an organisation with people." And to that I would add: during the visitation I saw many highly knowledgeable people who are very passionate about their work. And that is something we have in common. Our organisation is also very knowledgeable and our people are passionate about their work. During these visitations we learn about the context in which the products that we authorise are used, and this helps us to do our work even better.

Ingrid Becks


Client Contact Day ‘Authorisation and Enforcement’

How does Ctgb authorisation relate to enforcement and enforcement policy? Are the legal conditions for use sufficiently unambiguous and is the prescribed use feasible in practice? What do enforcers see in practice? And of course, what can we learn from this? These are some of the questions that will be addressed during the Ctgb Client Contact Day (in Dutch) on Thursday, 15 June in Ede. The invitations have now been sent out. If you did not yet receive an invitation, but are interested, please contact our communication team.

First extended authorisation of a low-risk product with minor uses under the accelerated procedure

The first extended authorisation of a low-risk product with minor uses was approved in April under the accelerated administrative route. Late last year, the Ctgb decided that extended authorisations of low-risk products with minor uses no longer require a risk assessment and can be processed administratively. For example, a low-risk fungicide will soon be available for 12 additional uses in fruit and vegetable production. Read more.

First extended authorisation under accelerated procedure

DROPLET version 1.3.2 implemented immediately

The DROPLET model is used to assess whether active substances from plant protection products exceed the drinking water standard (0.1 µg/L) at surface water intake points for the preparation of drinking water. Based on model calculations from the FOCUS surface water model (FOCUS D3 ditch scenario using Dutch drift values), DROPLET can be used to calculate surface water concentrations. Due to a new release of the FOCUS surface water model, it was necessary to technically modify DROPLET. Version 1.3.2. is being implemented immediately, as Windows 7 (on which the old version operated) is no longer being supported by Microsoft.

Introduction of DROPLET version 1.3.2 in the national authorisation procedure

Updated instructions for drinking water criterion calculations

Due to several changes in the nomenclature of intake points, a new work instruction has been prepared for calculating the 90th percentile of measured concentrations of substances exceeding the drinking water standard (at one or more time points/intake points). These instructions can be found on the methods page for behaviour in the environment of the Ctgb website. In addition, there was a minor change in the 2017-2021 substances list. The updated list of substances can be found at Substances - Vewin. The Ctgb uses this modified list in its risk assessment.

Changed method for intake phase (behaviour in the environment)

The instructions for priority point 8 for the intake phase (Fate and Behaviour) now explain how to submit the input and output files of the model calculations in the dossier. Please refer to the priority list and work instructions. We request applicants to implement this method as soon as possible. Starting in October 2023, during the intake phase we will explicitly require applicants to submit model files according to these instructions.