Newletter October 2023

Similar to a referee in a sports match

At the Ctgb, we are tasked with assessing whether products are safe when used as directed. European regulations provide frameworks and standards for authorising plant protection products and biocides. These regulations are the result of both a scientific process and a democratic process. They ensure a high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment, while also providing a level playing field. An authorised product must "have no harmful effect on human or animal health, or any unacceptable effect on the environment". This sounds well thought out, and it is; the legal frameworks for authorisation are indeed very strict.

Still, there are concerns about the use of plant protection products and biocides in society. This past summer, we saw residents go to court with their objections to the use of authorised products in their vicinity. At the same time, growers were unhappy because no exemption was provided for a product to control apple blossom weevil.

To help balance these conflicting interests, we make objective judgements, similar to a referee in a sports match. That is our role as a governmental agency. No more and no less, and that is what we stand for. We fulfil this role with maximum care.

I can understand that the various groups involved in the discussion sometimes feel that we have not adequately considered their interests and/or concerns. The two examples above show clearly how our decisions are viewed from different perspectives. However, the applicable regulations are always our guide for making responsible decisions. We are transparent about those decisions and we are happy to explain how we arrived at them. We did this previously and we will do this in the future while we continue to operate at the intersection of various interests. This is indeed what you would expect from a good referee.

Ingrid Becks


Minister Adema on a working visit to the Ctgb

On Monday 2 October, LNV Minister Adema made a scheduled working visit to the Ctgb. That offered a good moment to address our employees and to discuss with the management and chairman of the board.

Image: Ctgb

Third International Visitation Commission report received

In september, Dr. Anthony Hardy – former EFSA expert and chair of the third International Visitation Commission (IVC) – presented the final IVC report to Ctgb Chairman Rob van Lint. The report has since been submitted to the Lower House of Parliament by LNV Minister Adema. In its report, the IVC stated that the Ctgb is a well-managed, strong and effective organisation with sufficient resources and capacity to respond to the expectations of its applicants and of other stakeholders in Dutch and European society. See for yourself: the third IVC report is now on our website.

International visitation committee is positive about the Ctgb's assessment of plant protection products and biocides

Image: ©Ctgb

For consultation: policy for comparative assessment

The Board wants to make the method of comparative assessment more effective and efficient. As a result, it will be possible to replace products more frequently and the comparative assessment will take less time. During a five-week consultation period, interested parties can respond to this proposed policy change. On our website you can read more about the proposal and how to respond to it.

Consultatie beleidsuitwerking

The list of Minor Uses has been updated

The list of Minor Uses was updated as of 1 September to take account of the inclusion of low-risk products as authorised plant protection products. Applications for extended authorisations of low-risk products can be assessed and authorised by the Ctgb as minor uses, regardless of the production area involved.

Minor uses

Instructions for archiving model calculations

The instructions for the model calculations are not in alignment with practice and will be modified. Therefore, pending this modification, we do not require these calculations to be submitted during intake. However, we do ask applicants to submit the modelling files in a clear and structured manner.

See also link below

Procedure for archiving modelling results for dossier submissions

Publication of updated Central Zone Evaluation Manual on Ecotoxicology

The Central Zone Evaluation Manual on Ecotoxicology, the first version of which was published in 2021, has been updated to account for subsequent Central Zone agreements. For details, see the editing log of the Evaluation Manual.

The updated version of the Central Zone Evaluation Manual has been published on the public section of CircaBC.

Publication update Central Zone Evaluation Manual Ecotoxicology

The Ctgb is now using data from version 3.3.2 of the Groundwater Atlas

In February 2023, a new version of the Groundwater Atlas was published by Wageningen Environmental Research. The new version has been supplemented with recent monitoring data. In addition, the quality labels for the data were completed, and an accompanying report with a proposal for the use of the Groundwater Atlas in the authorisation procedure has been published. With immediate effect, the Ctgb will use the data in the new version of the Groundwater Atlas in the risk assessment of pending and new applications. If the assessment with the new data indicates that additional information is needed to reach a decision, applicants will be given the opportunity to provide this information.

See the website

Evaluation Manual for plant protection products and EM Biopesticides updated

The update primarily involves Chapter 6 - Fate and Behaviour - on the following points: drift reduction for non-agricultural use (DTG8.1), reference concentration Kom in TOXSWA (water), interim spraying times GEM (water and groundwater). In addition, clarification was provided on model versions, exclusion criteria Tier 1, Tier 1 protected cultivation, multiple GeoPEARL runs (groundwater).

Summary of changes to the Evaluation Manual as of 20 September:

  • Chapter 6 Fate and behaviour in the environment
    • Behaviour in surface water, sediment and sewage treatment plants (STP); version 2.5 (EU)
    • Behaviour in surface water and sediment; version 2.7 (EN)
    • Behaviour in soil; leaching; version 2.7 (EU)
    • Behaviour in soil; leaching; version 2.7 (EN)
  • Chapter 7 Ecotoxicology
    • General introduction and over-arching issues; version 2.6 (EU)
    • Terrestrial; birds and mammals; version 2.6 (EU)
    • Terrestrial; bees; version 2.5 (EU)
    • Ecotoxicology, Aquatic; version 2.6
    • Terrestrial; soil organisms; version 2.5 (EU)
    • Terrestrial; non-target arthropods and plants; version 2.8 (EU)
    • Terrestrial; non-target arthropods and plants; version 2.8 (EN)
  • Chapter 8 Efficacy; version 2.6 
  • Evaluation Manual Biopesticides version 2.2 as of 4 October.

Pesticide Atlas updated with data from 2022

On 6 October 2023, the updated Pesticide Atlas with measurement data from 2022 was published. The Atlas lists the active substances and metabolites of plant protection products and biocides that have been detected in surface water in the Netherlands, based on measurement data from the water authorities.

Pesticide atlas is updated with monitoring data of 2022

Specifying the instructions for products with a combination of professional and non-professional use

It is possible to specify product use according to professional and non-professional use. This can be confusing if the legal conditions for use/instructions (WGGA) for a product are split between professional and non-professional use. To avoid this confusion, such a WGGA can be modified upon request.

Specifying the instructions for products with a combination of professional and non-professional use

Guidance document for efficacy assessment revised with addition of PT11 and PT12 guidelines

As of August 2023, a new version of the BPR Volume II Part B+C guidance document is available for assessing the efficacy of biocidal products. This new version updates the efficacy testing requirements and approval criteria for preservatives for liquid cooling and processing systems (PT11) and slimicides (PT12). These requirements and approval criteria can be used with immediate effect when preparing the efficacy dossier for such products. For PT11 and PT 12 dossiers that are submitted from 1 August 2025, the instructions in this version of the BPR Volume II Part B+C must be followed.

See the guidance document

Symposium on broader deployment of IPM with biocidal products

The Biocides Expertise Network, together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), is providing a day-long symposium on Wednesday 11 October. About 20 speakers will discuss the broader deployment of Integrated Pest Management during the use of biocidal products, especially insecticides and preservatives. For more information (in Dutch only) , go to knowledge