Swedish rules on cadmium in fertilisers


Mineral fertilisers may contain cadmium as an impurity. There is a ban on offering for sale or transferring certain fertilisers that contain more than 100 grams of cadmium per ton of phosphorus. The purpose of the restriction is to reduce the cadmium content in agricultural land and thus reduce the content in crops.

Restriction of cadmium in fertilisers

Cadmium is a metal that is toxic to both health and the environment. Cadmium is mainly stored in the kidneys, which means that kidney function can be damaged if too much cadmium is ingested over a long period of time. Cadmium can also cause cancer and osteoporosis. The most common to be exposed to cadmium is through food, as plants easily absorb cadmium from the soil.

In order to reduce the cadmium content in arable land and thereby reduce the content in crops, there are Swedish rules on how much cadmium is allowed in certain fertilisers. Only fertilizers with custom tariff numbers 2510, 2809, 2835, 3103 and 3105 are covered by the ban. Thus, manure is not covered by the ban.

Prohibition in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944), 3§ (In Swedish only) External link.

Reporting cadmium content to the Products Register

If you manufacture or import fertilisers into Sweden, you must report information including the cadmium content to the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s Products Register.

The information shall be reported to the Products Register through the Web-portal.

KIFS 2017:7 on Chemical Products and Biotechnical Organisms 3 Chap. 16§, (In Swedish only)

Dispensation from the ban

If there are special reasons, the Swedish Chemicals Agency may grant a dispensation from the ban. The application fee is 15 000 SEK. In order for us to assess your application, you must submit written documentation and provide sufficiently good reasons for a dispensation. We can only grant a dispensation in individual cases.

EU regulations on fertilisers

Ban on ammonium carbonate in fertilisers

The use of ammonium carbonate fertilisers is banned in the EU as part of the implementation of the Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, the so called ceilings directive. The aim of the ban is to move towards air quality levels that do not give rise to significant negative effects on human health and the environment.

Prohibition in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944), 3a§ External link.(only in Swedish).

Read more about the EU directive on emissions of air pollutants on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's website External link. (only in Swedish).

EU fertilising products

There is a special EU Regulation, (EU) 2019/1009, which regulates EU fertilising products. An EU fertilising product is a fertilising product which is CE marked when made available on the market.

Read more about rules for EU fertilising products

Last published 13 February 2024