FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
PESTICIDES and MRLs
Plant Protection Products |
MRLs: Regulation 396/2005
- Import tolerances
- Official Controls of Pesticide Residues
The currently ongoing legislative initiatives in the area of pesticides are resulting in a drastic reduction of the number of active substances. Meanwhile, maximum residue levels (MRLs) are being harmonized throughout the EU.
Plant protection products
Regulation 1107/2009 sets out rules for the authorization of plant protection products (PPPs). It entered into force at the end of December 2009 and it will become fully applicable as from June 14, 2011.
This Regulation establishes a list of approved active substances. Only PPPs containing active substances included in the list may be authorized for use in the EU. Member States (MS) can approve PPPs containing the active substances. According to the new Regulation, the EU is divided in three different zones. Once a MS approves the PPP it can be mutually recognized and thus authorized within the same EU zone as set out in Annex I of the Regulation.
The Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for substances not on the list will be set at default level: 0,01 mg/kg.
The legislation allows exporters to request an "import tolerance" for active substances not yet evaluated or in use in the EU.
MRLs: Regulation 396/2005
Since September 2008 all MRLs in the EU have been harmonized by Regulation 396/2005 on food or feed of plant and animal origin. Pesticide MRLs for processed or composite products are based on the MRLs of the raw agricultural ingredients. See DG SANCO’s webpage for the latest updates.
Annex I lists the commodities to which MRLs apply.
Annex II contains existing MRLs that were already harmonized at EU level and will replace the EU’s current MRL Directives.
Annex III lists EU “temporary” MRLs or pesticides for which, before September 1, 2008, MRLs were only set at national level. It specifies MRLs for 471 pesticides.
Annex IV lists the substances for which no MRLs are required (exempt from tolerance products).
Annex V will contain the list of pesticides for which a default limit other than 0,01 mg/kg will apply. This Annex has not been published yet. Pesticide MRLs for processed or composite products are based on the MRLs for the raw agricultural ingredients.
Annex VI will contain the list of conversion factors of MRLs for processed commodities. This Annex has not been published yet. Annex VII contains a list of pesticides used as fumigants for which the Member States are allowed to apply special derogations before the products are placed on the market.
Annex VII contains active substance and product combinations for which Member States may authorize residue levels that exceed the limits set in Annex II and III.
Official Controls of pesticide residues in and on products of plant and animal origin
Harmonized sampling methods are established for the official control of residues in and on products of plant and animal origin by Commission Directive 2002/63/EC. Commission Regulation 915/2010 requires Member States to take and analyze samples for product and pesticide residue combinations in food of plant and animal origin. Annex I to the Regulation sets out the pesticide and product combinations to be monitored. Annex II sets out the number of samples that need to be taken for each combination. The Member States must submit results of the sample tests to the EU by 31 August 2012, 2013 and 2014 for samples tested in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.
E49002: EU-27 | Update: pesticide legislation approved
webpage on pesticide residues for more
information on the EU MRL legislation