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Brussels, 13 January 2009

European Commission welcomes European Parliament's vote on Plant Protection Products Regulation

Today the European Parliament adopted in second reading a Regulation to replace the current legislation on plant protection products, based on a Commission proposal from 2006. The new legislation will increase the protection of human health and the environment, will lead to a better protection of agricultural production and will extend and deepen the single market of plant protection products.

Commissioner A. Vassiliou said: "This is certainly a very good way for the European Parliament and the Council to start the New Year – by improving the protection of human health and of the environment. The new legislation will also benefit our farmers, as it ensures their own protection through specific measures such as the promotion of safer products."

The new Regulation will facilitate innovation by establishing clear criteria for approval of substances. Rules are proposed to ensure an open and competitive market. The existing legislation is improved and simplified, in particular in terms of approval procedures.

The new Regulation confirms the importance that the European Commission gives to a high level of protection of human health and the environment, while at the same time harmonises further the availability of plant protection products. Moreover it intends to favour competition and reduce administrative burden for all stakeholders.

The text contains provisions on the following main issues:

  • criteria for approval of active substances
  • inspection and monitoring on production, storage, transport and use of plant protection products
  • a simplified evaluation and authorization procedure
  • the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • data protection – data sharing
  • mutual recognition for plant protection products
  • informing on the use of plant protection products to neighbours
  • reduction of tests on vertebrates

The Commission welcomes the work done by the European Parliament and the Council as all objectives targeted by the initial proposal have been maintained in the text resulting from the co-decision process.

The new legislation has to be formally adopted by the Council, and it will enter into force later this year. Together with the end of the review programme of existing active substances, the Commission will have met its objective to make sure that efficient plant protection is achieved with safer products.

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