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Using pesticides and biocides

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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Do you use pesticides such as plant protection products and biocides? You have to follow certain rules.

Do you need to control pests and weeds? If you use pesticides such as plant protection products and biocides, you have to follow certain rules.

Which pesticides are there?

There are different kinds of pesticides:

Which pesticides are permitted?

You may only use pesticides that:

  • have a permitted code, which consists of 5 numbers and the letter N
  • are included on a list of products that are allowed

The Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) decides which products are permitted.

New products

Producers can ask Ctgb for permission to use new protection products. If you intend to use biological pest control, you might need a dispensation for some products. You apply for this dispensation to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO, in Dutch).

The European Commission decides on the admission of specific active substances in the EU. They do so in accordance with the Biocidal Products Regulation. You can look up which active substances are allowed in the EU Pesticides Database. However, before a plant protection product can be sold on the Dutch market, you need authorisation from the Ctgb.

Exemption for biological pesticides

Do you use biological pesticides such as predator mites or parasitic wasps? You need an exemption for species that are not mentioned in annexes 8 and 9 of the Nature Protection Act (Regeling natuurbescherming, in Dutch). You can request an exemption for biological pesticides through RVO (in Dutch).

Proof of professional competence

To work with crop protection products, you need a crop protection licence (spraying licence) (in Dutch) from the Recognitions Agency (Bureau Erkenningen). Do you professionally use protection products to combat vermin or moulds that cause wood rot? You must have proof of professional competence.

You need to take an exam with the Foundation Examination and Certification Institute Pest Prevention (Stichting Examen- en Certificeringsinstituut Plaagdierbeheersing EVM, in Dutch) or the Certification Institute Pest Control, Environment and Public Health (Certificeringsinstituut Plaagdierbeheersing, Milieu en Volksgezondheid CPMV, in Dutch).

A certificate is valid for 5 years.

Crop protection monitor

You must have a crop protection monitoring system. You must keep track of all measures taken each growing season. You record for instance the use of biological agents or mechanical weed control. You also record data such as crop rotation, choice of crops and basic planting material, emission reduction measures, and your choice and use of crop protection agents.

Spraying equipment inspection

Do you use spraying equipment and machines for spraying crop protection products? You need to have the equipment and machines tested at least once every 3 years by a recognised inspection company (in Dutch).

Reducing spread of crop protection agents

Do you cultivate crops in greenhouses? You must remove the crop protection agents from the wastewater (in Dutch). Do you cultivate crops outdoors? You must take measures to reduce the spread of crop protection agents (drift) (in Dutch) by at least 75%. This must be done for the whole terrain, regardless of whether a ditch splits your terrain or the distance of the waterway from the terrain.

Cleaning packaging material

You must clean out the packaging of crop protection products (in Dutch) immediately after use. You do this in the prescribed way with the prescribed equipment. You must also clean the equipment correctly. You have to make sure none of the product ends up in the sewage system or in a waterway. You must surrender packaging and plant protection product residue as industrial waste or small chemical waste.

Soil disinfection

If you plan to disinfect contaminated soil (in Dutch), you must report this at least 3 weeks in advance to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit, NVWA). You must report each plot you disinfect separately.

Could your business activities cause soil contamination? You must take preventive measures.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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