The Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 (OCR) were recently issued with a policy statement. These apply to the whole of Great Britain and supplement existing regulations that govern the sale and use of plant protection products or PPPs. The Northern Ireland Executive has put in place its own legislation implementing and enforcing official controls for PPPs.
Defra have now issued further guidance on how the regulations will be implemented especially in relation to those organisations needing to register by the 22 September. The release states:
''There is a single notification process for Great Britain operated by DEFRA. Operators must complete a notification if they import, manufacture, process, distribute PPPs authorised for professional use, adjuvants or PPP ingredients; including active substances, safeners, synergists and co-formulants.
To notify, operators should complete the simple form that is now available on GOV.UK. Guidance on how to notify that your business imports, manufactures, processes, distributes or sells professional plant protection products has also been published''
The Amenity Forum, representing the sector, has been in dialogue with Defra on all matters relating to this as well as the development of the new National Action Plan relating to weed, pest and disease management, which is due to be published soon.
The new OCR regulations are in place to:
- allow regulatory authorities to enforce legal requirements that apply to the placing on the market and use of PPPs throughout the supply chain
- explain the action enforcement authorities can take where non-compliance is identified or suspected
The 2020 Regulations also apply to components of PPPs such as active substances, synergists, co-formulants and to adjuvants.
Under the Regulations, businesses concerned with the placing on the market of PPPs authorised for professional use, and/or the placing on the market of components of PPPs are required to notify competent authorities of their details and business activities by 22 September 2021. This includes businesses that produce, manufacture, process, import, distribute and sell those products. Information will be requested about company details and contact information, product types, storage and capacity.
Similarly, all users of PPPs in a professional capacity will need to follow a similar process by 22 June 2022. Further information is to be provided for these businesses over the coming months. The HSE will operate controls and enforce the 2020 Regulations in Great Britain, taking a proactive, risk-based approach. It is also expected that Local Authorities will have a role. Enforcement of existing PPP regulations will remain unchanged.
Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are finalising the details of the control programme. These will be provided in communications over the coming months and as said earlier the Amenity Forum has already engaged with all involved in such discussions. As further information comes available, the Forum will issue further releases.
A key element of the Amenity Forum conference will be a focus on policy change and how it impacts on the sector. The conference is to be held at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton on Trent on October 21st. Registration for the conference and associated exhibition is now open and further information can be obtained by contacting Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org. Given support from the sector, this allows ticket price to be maintained at 2019 levels of £95 with early bird discounts for registrations prior to September 1st.
Professor John Moverley, Chairman of the Amenity Forum, said ''this issued policy statement is highly significant for our sector. However all operating to professional standards has nothing to fear and such controls chime well with the introduction of the UK Amenity Standard, providing full assurance to all involved that organisations are meeting requirements seeking to create safe and sustainable amenity and sports spaces fit for purpose.