EU pesticides laws agreed

September 28, 2009

The EU Council of Ministers last week formally adopted the final text of the package of new EU laws on pesticides.  These are:

  • Directive on sustainable use of pesticides
  • Regulation on placing of plant protection products on the market (repealing Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC)
  • Directive on improving construction and maintenance of machinery for pesticide application

A key issue of concern for the golf industry has been the reference to “sports and recreation grounds” in earlier versions of the proposed Directive on sustainable use of pesticides.  In the final text, agreed by Ministers last week, there are two references:

(preamble)
(16) Use of pesticides can be particularly dangerous in very sensitive areas, such as
Natura 2000 sites protected in accordance with Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC. In other places such as public parks and gardens, sports and recreation grounds, school grounds and children’s playgrounds, and in the close vicinity of healthcare facilities, the risks from exposure to pesticides are high. In these areas, the use of pesticides should be minimised or prohibited. When pesticides are used, appropriate risk management measures should be established and low-risk pesticides as well as biological control measures should be considered in the first place.

Article 12
Reduction of pesticide use or risks in specific areas

Member States shall, having due regard for the necessary hygiene and public health requirements and biodiversity, or the results of relevant risk assessments, ensure that the use of pesticides is minimised or prohibited in certain specific areas. Appropriate risk management measures shall be taken and the use of low-risk plant protection products as defined in Regulation (EC) No …/…+ and biological control measures shall be considered in the first place. The specific areas in question are:
(a) areas used by the general public or by vulnerable groups as defined in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No …/…+, such as public parks and gardens, sports and recreation grounds, school grounds and children’s playgrounds and in the close vicinity of healthcare facilities;
(b) protected areas as defined in Directive 2000/60/EC or other areas identified for the purposes of establishing the necessary conservation measures in accordance with the provisions of Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC;
(c) recently treated areas used by or accessible to agricultural workers.

The next step in the legal process is for these texts to be published in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union.  Here the laws are given formal reference numbers and dates indicating when they enter into force.

The Directive on sustainable use of pesticides will enter into force on the day following its publication in the OJ.  The other two items enter into force on the twentieth day following OJ publication.

EU Regulations have immediate effect throughout the EU, whilst Directives require national governments to bring into force implementing laws, regulations and administrative provisions. The final OJ texts will confirm the deadlines by which national governments must have implemented the Directives’ provisions. EU Directives can, in some circumstances, be “directly enforceable”.

Links:

Final agreed texts of:

Directive aimed at establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides so as to reduce the risks to human health and the environment and the dependency on the use of pesticides

Regulation concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC so as to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the placing on the market of plant protection products, while improving agricultural production

Directive aimed at improving the construction and maintenance of machinery for pesticide application, with a view to reducing the adverse effects of pesticides on human health and the environment

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