The use of plant protection products
In Sweden you may only use plant protection products authorised by the Swedish Chemical Agency. But even if a plant protection product has been authorised, the use of it may cause risks. In order to reduce the risks there are conditions of use included in the authorisations. As a user you must always follow the conditions of use on the label and also other rules on use and spread of plant protection products.
Conditions of use to reduce the risks
When using a plant protection product there is a risk that the product will spread beyond the area intended for treatment. The product may spread more widely, either through negligence or by unintentional dispersion via wind and water. The results from monitoring show that residues of plant protection products are sometimes found in surface water and groundwater, where they can have a negative impact on non-target plants, animals or other organisms not intended to be controlled.
In order to reduce the risks associated with plant protection products the Swedish Chemicals Agency decides on conditions of use for individual plant protection products as part of the authorisation.
The labelling on the packaging must contain information on how the plant protection product shall be used, i.e. which conditions of use that apply for the particular product, and also on which hazardous properties the product may have.
In the Pesticides Register you can find the conditions of use decided for individual plant protection products authorised in Sweden.
You are allowed to use a plant protection product for as long as the product has a valid authorisation or grace period for the phasing out of the product. If a product authorisation expires the Swedish Chemical Agency normally decides on a grace period. In the decision on grace periods dates are set for how long the products may continue to be sold, used, stored or disposed of. The grace periods are stated in the KIFS 2008:3 and they can also be found in the Pesticides Register.
Rules for the use of plant protection products
In addition to the conditions of use for individual products, there are also rules for the use of plant protection products that apply. You can find the rules in the Swedish Ordinance on pesticides and in regulations of other Swedish agencies.
In certain areas, for instance on land used as meadows and for pasture, in residential areas and in parks, the use of plant protection products is banned, with certain exceptions. The ban is found in 2 Ch, 37 § of the Swedish Ordinance on pesticides (SFS 2014:425). Even if a certain use of a plant protection product is approved in the product authorisation from the Swedish Chemicals Agency, all use of the product may still be forbidden in the areas covered by the general ban.
If you use plant protections products outdoors you must keep certain safety distances in order to protect the environment outside the area intended for treatment. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has a regulation on the spread of, and certain other handling of plant protection products.
Permit for use in water protection area
If you intend to use a plant protection product in a water protection area a specific permit is required. You apply for this permit at your local municipality. In the regulation of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency you can find the rules about this permit.
Sustainable use of pesticides
Within the EU, there is a directive for the sustainable use of pesticides. The directive is a complement to other rules on plant protection products and its purpose is to ensure there are common minimum requirements for the use of plant protection products in the EU.
The Swedish Action Plan to reduce risks
To reduce the risks for human health and the environment associated with plant protection products, the Swedish Government has decided on an Action Plan for sustainable use in the agricultural and horticultural sectors for the period 2019-2020. The Action Plan contains for example a specific goal aiming to limit the use of plant protection products that are harmful to pollinators. The Action Plan is based on a proposal prepared by the Swedish Board of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency among others.
More information from other bodies
The Swedish Board of Agriculture External link. issues rules on knowledge requirements and permits to use certain pesticides.
The National Food Agency External link. issues rules on the residue levels of pesticides in crops and drinking water.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency External link. issues regulations on the spread of plant protection products in the environment.
The Centre for Chemical Pesticides External link. (CKB) is a partnership forum for researchers at SLU and interested parties outside the university and working within the field of chemical pesticides.
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) External link. has a pesticide database that includes results from sampling. (In Swedish.)