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The Swedish Chemicals Agency is planning to tighten the rules on private use of plant protection products

News 5/22/2017

The Swedish Chemicals Agency is planning to tighten the rules on the private use of plant protection products in Sweden. According to a new report to the Government, it will only be possible for private users to use products containing low-risk substances. This means that in a few years’ time products containing glyphosate or acetic acid, for example, may not be authorised for private use.

“The planned regulations for the private use of plant protection products aim to improve protection of health and the environment. They will also contribute to a toxic-free everyday life and a non-toxic environment,” says Peter Bergkvist, principal policy advisor at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.

In September 2016 the Government of Sweden mandated the Swedish Chemicals Agency to analyse the need and the possibility to restrict the private use of plant protection products. Today the Swedish Chemicals Agency has submitted its report on the assignment to the Government. The regulations that the Swedish Chemicals Agency intend to implement have the effect that only plant protection products with less harmful properties will be authorised for private use with no requirement for education. It is expected that the regulations can be applied from 2019.

Which plant protection products that no longer will be allowed to sell to private users will be determined by the European Commission’s assessment of which substances qualifies as being of low risk. Glyphosate and acetic acid are examples of active substances that preliminary are not expected to be included among the low-risk substances. This means that in due course private users in Sweden will probably be unable to use herbicides containing these substances. Most glyphosate products in Sweden are currently only permitted for professional use with special knowledge requirements, although some products are also approved for private use.

Ferric phosphate, which is used in anti-slug products, is already considered a low-risk substance within the EU and will therefore not be affected by the upcoming regulations. The Swedish Chemicals Agency has made the assessment that substances included in anti-moss agents, such as iron sulphate, will probably be considered to be low-risk substances and will therefore not be affected either.

Sweden has long been carrying out preventive work on the use of plant protection products, especially with regard to private use. All existing authorisations for plant protection products are reviewed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency on an ongoing basis. A review may result in restrictions and in some cases in the withdrawal of authorisations.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency also decided in autumn 2016 to tighten the rules on which plant protection products may be used by non-professionals (private users). Other EU Member States, for example France and Denmark, have also decided on national restrictions on the private use of plant protection products.

“EU Member States are obliged to set targets and introduce national regulations for reducing the risks of plant protection product use. This applies in particular to private use. The new rules that we wish to introduce are regulations in line with these requirements, and they will take effect in Sweden in a few years,” says Peter Bergkvist.

Read the report (in Swedish, with a summary in English on page 7)

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Peter Bergkvist, principal policy advisor, +46 8 519 41 209

The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s press service, +46 8 519 41 200, press@kemi.se

E-mail addresses of the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s employees are written as follows: firstname.surname@kemi.se

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