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Brussels, 24 November 2010

Food Safety: Commission urges Italy to transpose provisions of the Plant Protection Products Directive

The European Commission has asked Italy to notify national implementing measures as required by Directive 2010/34/EU as regards an extension of the use of the active substance "penconazole." The request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion" under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may decide to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice.

Italy has not communicated the measures implementing Directive 2010/34/EU concerning an extension of the use of the active substance "penconazole".

Each active substance has to be proven safe in order to be allowed to be placed on the market. It is the responsibility of industry to provide the data showing that a substance can be used safely with respect to human health and the environment. Human health and the environment are major policy concerns for the European Commission, especially in the area of authorisation of plant protection products. Plant protection contributes to a more competitive EU market and provides consumers with a greater choice in safe and good-quality products.

Following the assessment of further information provided by the industry, the Commission came to the conclusion that it is no longer necessary to restrict the use of penconazole to greenhouses, as laid down in Directive 2009/77/EC.

The Commission initiated the infringement procedure, described in Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), earlier this year by sending a letter of formal notice to Italy. By the sending of a "Reasoned Opinion," the Commission formally asks Italy to take action to comply with EU law within a period of two months. Subsequently, the Commission may decide to refer Italy to the ECJ if action to ensure compliance is not taken.


Directive 2010/34/EU extends the use of the active substance penconazole. Member States were supposed to implement Directive 2010/34/EU by June 30, 2010, but Italy has failed to do so.

For more information on the infringement procedure, please see:


For more information on the plant protection legislation, please visit:

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