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Impact of neonicotinoid restriction on authorisations for UK horticultural crops

On Monday 29th April 2013, the European Commission’s Appeal Committee met to discuss the proposals to restrict authorisations of neonicotinoid insecticide products containing clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The proposals had previously resulted in ‘no opinion’ among Member States when they were put to a vote in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (Pesticides Legislation Section) on 15th March.

The Appeal Committee did not reach an ‘opinion’ (which would have required a qualified majority in favour or against), which means that the European Commission will now proceed to adopt the original proposals. These comprise:

  •     the withdrawal of professional uses of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam on crops considered attractive to bees (a long list including oilseed rape and maize) and on cereals apart from seed treatment of winter cereals;
  •     the complete withdrawal of amateur uses of these substances;
  •     these two restrictions apply after 30 September, but there is a derogation for member States to apply a period of grace, allowing withdrawn uses to continue until 30th November 2013;
  •     a prohibition of the sale and use of all seeds for those crops treated with the three active substances from 1st December 2013, other than for research and development;
  •     exemptions to allow use on crops harvested before flowering (such as brassicas and onions), use in greenhouses and foliar applications after crops have flowered;
  •     a commitment by the Commission to starting a review of further data to be supplied by companies two years after the Regulation comes into force.

In the UK there are a number of authorisations for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid for use in horticultural crops (clothianidin is not approved on any horticultural crop in the UK).  The tables and FAQs in the document here provide further information on how the restrictions will impact on these authorizations.


Publication date: 10/30/2013



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