Crop protection products and biocides

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

There are rules for working with crop protection agents (pesticides and horticides in agriculture and horticulture) and biocides (pesticides in hospitals, water companies or for wood preservation). Using biological pest control like predatory mites or parasitic wasps is also bound by rules. You may only use permitted products.

Permitted crop protection products

You may only use permitted (organic) protection products. The Board for the Authorization of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (CTGB) decides which products are permitted. You can recognise permitted products by their code, which consists of 5 numbers and the letter N. There is a list of all products the CTGB allows. Natural remedies, such as citronella, seaweed and garlic extract, are also allowed.

Producers may 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 (in Dutch).

The European Commission decides on the admission of specific active substances in the EU in accordance with the Biocidal Products Regulation. You can look up which active substances are allowed in the EU Pesticides Database. However, Member States have to authorise products that contain this substance as well.

Proof of professional competence

As a professional who works with crop protection products you need a crop protection licence (spraying licence, in Dutch) from the Recognitions Agency (Bureau Erkenningen). If you professionally use protection products to combat vermin or moulds that cause wood rot, you must have proof of professional competence from the Foundation Examination and Certification Institute Pest Prevention (EVM, in Dutch) or the Certification Institute Pest Control, Environment and Public Health (CPMV, in Dutch).

Spraying equipment inspection

If you use spraying equipment and machines for spraying crop protection products, you have to have the equipment and machines tested at least once in every 3 years by a recognised inspection company.

Crop protection monitor

You must have a crop protection monitoring system. You must keep track of all measures taken in a given growing season, such as 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.

Reducing spread of crop protection agents

If you cultivate crops in greenhouses, you must remove the crop protection agents from the waste water. If you cultivate crops outdoors, you must take measures to reduce the spread of crop protection agents (drift) by at least 75 percent. This must be done for the whole terrain regardless of whether a waterway is in the vicinity or the distance of the waterway from the terrain.

Cleaning packaging material

Immediately after use you must clean out the packaging of crop protection products. You do this in the prescribed way with prescribed equipment. You have to make sure none of the product ends up in the sewage system or in a waterway.

Soil disinfection

If you plan to disinfect contaminated soil, you must report this in advance (in Dutch) to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA). You must file a separate notification (Melding grondonsmetting, pdf, in Dutch) for each plot you disinfect.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO