Rules when selling Plant Protection Products
For companies selling and distributing plant protection products special rules apply, in parallell to general rules on chemical and biotechnical products. Each plant protection product on the Swedish market must have a valid product authorisation from the Swedish Chemicals Agency. The products must be correctly labelled in Swedish. For those who sell plant protection products, a special training certificate is required. You must also ensure that your customer holds the correct formal qualifications to buy and handle your plant protection product. Sales must be documented and reported.
Plant protection products must have a Swedish product authorisation
Each plant protection product must hold a valid product authorisation from the Swedish Chemicals Agency before it is marketed, sold or used in Sweden. A product is a plant protection product if it
- contains at least one chemical substance or microorganism as active substance, and
- is marketed for the purpose of protecting plants or plant products, to control unwanted vegetation, or to change the life processes of plants (except as a nutrient or plant biostimulant).
The Swedish Pesticides Register (Bekämpningsmedelsregistret) lists all plant protection products with a product authorisation in Sweden. Here you can also see the grace periods given for sales, and for use, storage, and disposal when a specific product authorisation has expired or been withdrawn from the Swedish market.
Labelling, advice and information
When you sell plant protection products you are required to give certain information to the buyer. The information to be given is divided into three parts:
- Labelling of the product (product label and instructions for use).
- Product specific advice by trained person.
- Information on risks and safe handling to non-professional users.
Labelling of plant protection products
For plant protection products, the term ”labelling” includes both the label placed on the product and any accompanying product instruction for use. Labelling of a plant protection product is usually done by the authorisation holder of the product. However, when you sell a plant protection product, you are responsible to ensure that the labelling is correct. The user must follow the directions in the product labelling.
The labelling of a plant protection product on the Swedish market must be in Swedish. The label must show the four-digit Swedish registration number. For products approved for parallel trade in Sweden, the registration number is replaced by a code starting with the letters PHT.
Product specific advice by trained person
To sell plant protection products, your company must have at least one person who holds a valid certificate for having completed training in the safe use of plant protection products. This person must be available to the customer on request at the time of sale. The role of the person is to answer any questions on how your product should be used, on risks for health and the environment associated with the use of that particular product, and on the safe handling of it to reduce these risks.
Availability of a person with certifcation is required at the time of sale for all plant protection products, including by e-commerce, and when selling to both professional and non-professional customers. The person does not need to be physically present, but can be available by telephone. It is recommended to inform your customers about the possibility of specific product advice, and how they can reach the trained person. The customer should be able to get advice during those hours that your plant protection products are available for sale.
Information on risks and safe handling to non-professional users
Non-professional users in Sweden may use plant protection products in the Swedish authorisation class 3, but are not required to take a course in safe handling of plant protection products. Instead, the distributor/retailer is required to actively give information on risks and safe handling before selling plant protection products to a non-professional user. In particular, you should inform each buyer on hazards, exposure, correct storage, use, safe disposal and low risk alternatives.
As a distributor, you are free to decide in what form you give the required general information. For example, a clearly visible poster on the product shelf and/or at the check-out point, or an information leaflet given at check-out, are good options. If the sale is done via e-commerce, it can be given in the form of a text to be checked by the customer before the purchase can be completed.
Advertisements for plant protection products on the Swedish market must always contain the Swedish phrase:
"Använd växtskyddsmedel med försiktighet. Läs alltid etiketten och produktinformationen före användning.", (i.e. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.)
Choice of expressions which could cause risks to be underestimated are not allowed in advertisments. Examples of such expressions are “non-toxic”, “harmless”, “natural”, “environmentally friendly” or similar.
When marketing and selling chemical products and pesticides by e-commerce, you are required to inform customers regarding the products’ hazardous properties. For example, certain information on the label of the packaging should be visible on the website where you market the product. This provides customers with information regarding the dangers of the product before the purchase.
The rules are found in the EU regulations on classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) and on plant protection products.
Customer controls, reporting and fees
Check that the buyer is qualified
Plant protection products that have been placed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency in authorisation class 1 or 2 may only be sold to professional customers who fulfil either of the requirements:
- the person buying the plant protection products has a valid user permit for professional use of plant protection products, or has a person with the company who has such a valid user permit, or
- the person buys the plant protection products for distribution purposes, and there is at least one trained person with the company who holds a valid proof of training for distribution of plant protection products.
Records, reports and fees/charges of sale
When you sell plant protection products you must keep a record of sales for five years. You must make the records available for inspection by the competent enforcement authority on request.
It is the holders of the Swedish product authorisation, or their representative, who is responsible to report records of amounts sold to the Swedish Chemicals Agency and to pay the yearly fees to us.
The rules are found here
The rules on training and advice by a trained person, on information to non-professional users, and on control of the buyer are found in 2 Kap, 26-29 §§ in the Ordinance (SFS 2014:425) on pesticides (in Swedish) External link. .