Prohibited and Non-Authorised Pesticides


EU legislation (particularly Council Directive 79/117/EEC) previously prohibited (sometimes known as “banned”) the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances which, even if applied in an authorised manner, could give rise to harmful effects on human health or the environment.

From 14 June 2011, the marketing of plant protection products in the EU has been subject to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. The Regulation prohibits use of any active substances in plant protection products unless they have been approved for that purpose in accordance with the Regulation. This general prohibition rendered Council Directive 79/117/EEC superfluous and the Directive was therefore repealed, also from 14 June 2011.

A number of active substances remain specifically prohibited by Regulation (EC) No. 850/2004 as persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Withdrawn active substances

Large numbers of substances have been withdrawn following reviews. This may be for reasons of safety or because companies took commercial decisions not to support substances through the review process. National reviews have been conducted in the UK in the past, but this work has in recent years been co-ordinated at EU level under Council Directive 91/414/EEC and Regulation (EC) 1107/2009.

Buying treated seed into a Member State from another EU Member State or from a country outside the EU

Provided the seed is treated with a plant protection product that is authorised as a seed treatment for that use in at least one EU Member State it may be brought into a Member State and marketed and used here.

The label and documents accompanying the treated seed must include:

  • the name of the plant protection product with which the seed was treated;
  • the name(s) of the active substance(s) in that product;
  • the standard phrases for safety precautions as provided for in Regulation (EC) No.1907/2006 link to external website; and
  • any risk mitigation measures set out in the authorisation for that product where appropriate.

Please note that whilst Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 will ultimately replace Directive 1999/45/EC link to external website, the transitional arrangements in it permit Directive 1999/45/EC to continue until about 2015.

1. The placing on the market and labelling of treated seeds in the UK is covered by Articles 49(1) and 49(4) respectively of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 link to external website. This Regulation forbids an EU Member State from prohibiting the placing on the market and use of seeds treated with a plant protection product authorised in another Member State.

2. Regulation 10(1) of the UK’s Plant Protection Product Regulations 2011 states that a person must not place on the market or use seeds treated with plant protection products that are NOT authorised for use on such seeds in any EU Member State.

Active substances currently and previously approved for use in the EU

The European Commission provides a database of active substances currently and previously approved for use in the European Union.

The following guidance will help you to obtain an up to date list of the active substances in the European Union from the European Commission database:

  • Please go to the following webpage EU Pesticides database link to external website. Click on “Search active substances” on the left hand side which will take you to another page.
  • Click on the “Advanced Search” box at the top and in the “Status” criteria select “”All”, “Not Approved” or “Approved”, “Pending” or “Not a plant protection product”.
  • To export the list to an Excel file, click on the “Export to Excel button.

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