Infographic Annual Report 2023

Ctgb-Annual Review-2022 page1

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Competent Authority

The Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) is semi-autonomous agency that assesses and the risks of these products and makes decisions in accordance with European and Dutch legislation. This is done so consumers and growers can be confident that the products they buy and use – when used according to instructions – are safe. To this end, we work closely with European and Dutch organisations and research institutes.

Precautionary principle

European regulations for plant protection products and plant protection products and biocidal products are based on the precautionary principle: a product should not be placed on the market until its safety has been demonstrated. Guidance documents are developed for the further implementation of the regulations and are regularly updated to take account of the latest science and technology. The Ctgb is actively contributing to this process.

Curtailing the use of rodenticides

Blood-thinning products against rats and mice cannot be authorised due to the risks of secondary toxicity of birds of prey, mustelids and domestic animals. However, due to the societal importance of effective rodent control, the Biocidal Products Regulation still allows authorisation of these types of active substances and products containing them if each Member State takes suitable risk mitigation measures. In the Netherlands, the products may thus only be used by certified professionals as a last resort within an integrated pest management (IPM) system. As of 1 January 2023, a new certification requirement, based on the recently published IPM Rodent Control Manual, will apply to the control of rodents, including rats and mice, both indoors and outdoors. There is still a run-down period for selling and using up products with the old labels. Products based on alphachloralose are excluded from this regulation; private individuals can continue to use them against mice.

Amendment of instructions for use of phosphides

Due to incidents of phosphine toxicity during and after transport, the Ctgb plans to amend the instructions for use of aluminium and magnesium phosphide. Phosphine (hydrogen phosphide) is a colourless, odourless and flammable gas. It is mainly used to control insects in bulk cargoes of grain and in silos, containers, and storage areas as well as in ships, trains and trucks. In 2022, consultations were held with authorisation holders, stakeholders in the Netherlands and with European partners to arrive at restrictions in the EU to prevent accidents with phosphine gas during transport on inland waterways, railways and roads. The amendment of the instructions for the five products in question is expected in the spring of 2023.

Round-table discussion and committee debates on crop protection

At the Lower House of Parliament round-table discussion on Healthy Crops and Healthy Soil, we explained the authorisation procedure and risk assessment, and how we deal with new scientific insights into the safety and risks of chemical and biological substances. We subsequently gave a technical briefing to the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to prepare them for the two committee debates on plant protection. Ctgb staff supported the Ministry in answering questions from MPs about the Ctgb's sphere of activity.

Discussions with scientists

With some regularity, scientists from various disciplines speak out about the risks of plant protection products. In most cases, the Ctgb then seeks contact with these scientists for a preliminary discussion. This not only creates an opportunity to explain the authorisation system, but it can also give them access to information or contacts from the Ctgb.

Port of Rotterdam

The Board visited a company that specialises in insect control and has now developed several sustainable techniques including heat-based methods. Among other services, the company treats loads of tree trunks to control the European spruce bark beetle, warehouses for rice or coffee and shipping containers with many types of cargo. Board members got a good impression of the scale and practice of this type of treatment.

Greenport Boskoop

For plant protection products, the Board paid a working visit to Greenport Boskoop. This oldest arboricultural area in the world consists of narrow plots of peat soil, with surface water on all sides in ditches and main waterways. The Board visited two tree nurseries and a Delphy innovation centre. It also received a presentation on water quality and cooperative projects from the Rijnland Water Board. Water management and sustainability played key roles in the working visit.

Raising the MRL

When importing feed from other countries outside the European Union, MRLs must be set so that any residues of plant protection products remain as low as possible and do not pose a threat to public health. The Ctgb investigated whether the proposed temporary national MRLs would lead to MRL exceedances in animal products. We subsequently advised the relevant ministry positively on increased MRLs at the national level for a number of substances to enhance the options for import from outside the EU – but still within safe levels, of course.

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Active in Europa

To encourage harmonised implementation, preparations have begun on a central zone manual that compiles the agreements harmonised by the zone. The manual also concerns protected cultivation. In recent years many discussions on this topic this have been held in the CZSC due to the variations between greenhouses in EU Member States. Last year, a clear agreement was reached – also with the other zones – on which types of greenhouses will be assessed interzonally for the use of plant protection products, and which types will be assessed zonally.


Workshop forecasting

There were 52 participants from 22 Member States, the European Commission and EFSA. The participants discussed how best to forecast the expected number of applications, the corresponding workload in hours and the challenges they would face as a result. They also discussed how Member States can organise this and what they can learn from each other. For a number of Member States, this may be helpful in substantiating the needed capacity expansion to their responsible ministry.



As part of the Implementation Programme for the Vision on Plant Protection 2030, the Ctgb contributes to the availability of "green" products, such as products based on micro-organisms. For example, we incorporated the new data requirements for micro-organisms in Europe into our Evaluation Manual Biopesticides and shared it with European colleagues. If they agree, it can be used as a harmonised practice in all Member States for their assessments.


Minor uses for low-risk products

We also explored other options to accelerate the availability of "green" products. For example, the Board decided that no assessment is required (in principle) for extended authorisations of low-risk products with minor uses. Due to the low-risk status of the product and active substance, and the smaller crop production area involved with minor uses, no unacceptable effects on humans, animals and the environment are expected.


Strip cultivation

For the innovative method of strip cultivation, the question was whether it requires a different or additional assessment. In strip cultivation, a field consists of a collection of strips of different crops rather than a single-crop plot. Good Agricultural Practice also appears to cover strip cultivation, so there is no need for a separate application procedure, assessment or authorisation.


Five-year evaluation

Andersson Elffers Felix (AEF) evaluated the Ctgb as a Semi-autonomous Agency (ZBO) and concluded that it is a professional and effective organisation that provides high-quality services, both in the primary process of risk assessments and in policy advice and cooperation in the EU context. It also enjoys a corresponding reputation. Furthermore, AEF concluded that the organisation has a clear governance structure and maintains good relations with the responsible ministries. The internal organisation is also effective, with a pleasant work culture, satisfied employees and a healthy general financial reserve. AEF also made some recommendations for reducing turnaround times and increasing capacity.


Open Government Act

The Woo (Open Government Act) is the successor to the Government Information (Public Access) Act.