New EU law on pesticide application machinery

March 20, 2009

New EU legislation on pesticide application machinery looks set to be agreed.  Last week a European Parliament Committee agreed its Opinion on a European Commission 2008 proposal for a new Directive on pesticide application machinery.

The Parliament broadly supports the Commission’s proposal and is forecast to adopt formally its Opinion in the EP plenary session of 22 April.

This proposal forms part of the European Commission’s 2006 Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides.

The current EU Machinery Directive applies already to machinery for pesticide application with respect to the protection of the health and safety of the operators and other exposed persons. The purpose of this new proposal is to introduce specific essential requirements for the protection of the environment.

Several Member States have already introduced national measures (technical requirements and certification procedures) to be followed when placing new machinery on their markets, while other Member States have announced draft regulations in this field.  Hence, the need for this new proposed Directive to achieve the same level of environmental protection throughout the EU and to ensure fair competition between manufacturers and free movement of products in the EU.

Sprayers complying with the new requirements are expected to consume less pesticide and reduce losses caused by the handling of products during mixing, loading, spraying and cleaning operations.  Costs of machines are expected to rise.  Costs of pesticide usage are expected to fall.

Machinery for pesticide application includes:

  • self-propelled machinery,
  • towed, vehicle mounted and semi-mounted machinery,
  • airborne machinery,
  • stationary machinery intended for pesticide application, both for professional and consumer use,
  • powered portable and handheld machinery and manually-operated portable and handheld machinery for pesticide application with a pressure chamber.

The Directive will not apply to manually-operated portable or handheld pesticide application equipment without a pressure chamber or to simple pesticide application equipment without moving parts.

Links:

Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on machinery for pesticide application, amending Directive 2006/42/EC of 17 May 2006 on machinery

Report of the Europan Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection: rapporteur: Leopold Józef Rutowicz

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