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Fertilisers and biostimulants

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you want to bring inorganic (artificial) fertilisers or biostimulants on the Dutch market, you must comply with various rules and regulations. For instance, there are requirements for nutrient content, safety and absence of adverse effect on the environment. Also, buyers should be able to determine what a specific product consists of (labelling requirements).

Manufacturers and suppliers of fertilisers in the Netherlands must be registered with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO). To register, please contact RVOExternal link.

EC Fertiliser

So-called EC fertilisers are regulated by the European Regulation on mineral (inorganic) fertilisers. They may circulate freely within the EU. Member States may only prohibit or limit them if they suspect there is a health risk or risk to the environment. In such cases, the product is temporarily withdrawn pending a risk assessment study.

Other inorganic fertilisers

All other inorganic fertilisers, such as lime fertilisers, recovered phosphates and other inorganic fertilisers, can be brought on the Dutch market as long as they comply with the rules laid down in the Dutch Fertilisers Act and the decrees based upon this Act. The Act contains general, agricultural and environmental rules and rules regarding packaging and labelling of fertilisers. For fertilisers made from waste and residues there is a special admission procedure. If admitted, they will be put on a so-called positive list, which is annexed to the Dutch Fertilisers Act Implementation Decree.

Biostimulants

Biostimulants are not qualified as fertiliser, because they aim at improving the plant’s or crop’s environment without providing them with nutrients. Because there is no specific Dutch legislation for this type of product, depending on its characteristics, biostimulants may be subject to the rules for crop protection agents or those for fertilisers. If the product is neither one of them, it may only be brought onto the Dutch market if the product is considered to be safe for human and animal health and the environment.

The future status of biostimulants in EU law is still under consideration. It is expected that they will become an integral part of the European Regulation on fertilisers.

Mixed fertilisers

Mixed fertilisers are allowed as long as both ingredients and end product comply with the requirements for the specific fertiliser category. However, there are exemptions: you may not mix sewage sludge, digestates and various residues.

Labelling requirements

Labels on fertilisers and biostimulants contain at least:

  • the name of the producer
  • the (trade) name of the product
  • information on how the product works and how to use itthe percentages of the product’s ingredients
  • the product’s net quantity and composition

Additionally, labels on biostimulants should clearly and explicitly state that the product is not a fertiliser or crop protection agent.

Packed products carry the label on or inside the packaging, unpacked products must be accompanied by a separate document containing the required information. It must be clearly legible, indelible and at least in Dutch. Liquid products should also carry instructions regarding storage and safety measures.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency