European laws and regulations
Separate EU regulations have been adopted for plant protection products and biocidal products. A regulation is adopted by the European parliament and applies directly in all Member States as national legislation. The provisions in European regulations supersede all other legislation.
Plant protection products
In 2011, Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 (concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market) went into force, and the corresponding legislation in the Netherlands was amended.
The most important change was the introduction of a zonal assessment for plant protection products, which prevents duplication between competent authorities in the European Union and encourages their cooperation and harmonisation. The regulation divides Europe into three zones: north, middle and south, on the basis of similarities in f.e. climate and land use. The country where the product is applied (know as Rapporteur Member State) is responsible for conducting the assessments and preparing a comprehensive assessment report, which is then given to the other concerned member states (cMS) for comment.
Within the EU it is possible to authorise a product in one country by means of mutual recognition of authorisations from other Member States. This enables applicants in an EU Member State to obtain an authorisation for their product in a relatively short time.
The rules differ for active substances and products. Active substances should be authorized at EU level first, before an application for a product based on this active substance may be admitted. Depending on their classification, active substances are re-evaluated after 7, 10 or 15 years.
Also, maximum residue limits are set at European level. They can be obtained from the admission authority in a Member State.
The European Union considers the correct use of biocidal products to be very important. To manage this properly, the EU has adopted binding legislation that applies to all Member States: the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) 528/2012. The aim of this legislation is to promote European harmonisation. Individual differences in assessments between Member States will be reduced, so an application in one country can also be recognised in another country, by means of mutual recognition.