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Plant strengtheners


The product group of strengtheners was re-defined as plant protection legislation was restructured. According to § 2 No 10 of the Plant Protection Act, the following now count as plant strengtheners:

Substances and mixtures including microorganisms which

  • are exclusively intended to maintain plant health in general as long as they are not plant protection products according to Article 2 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 or
  • are intended to protect plants against non-parasitic impairments.

Products from the second group are, for example, products for reducing water evaporation or anti-freezing agents. Products which are within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 as plant protection products cannot be plant strengtheners. Products whose priority lies in providing plants with nutrients and trace elements and promoting growth should rather be classified as plant growth improvers or soil improvers. These product groups are subject to the Act on Fertilisers.

Provisions concerning the placing on the market of plant strengtheners

The placing on the market of plant strengtheners is provided for in § 45 of the Plant Protection Act. The following requirements must be met:

  • When used correctly and for their intended purpose, plant strengtheners must not have any harmful effects on human and animal health or groundwater or any other unacceptable effects, in particular on the environment.
  • The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) must be notified before a product is placed on the market.
  • Plant strengtheners must be labelled according to the provisions of the Plant Protection Act. Legislation on hazardous substances may require additional labelling.

The BVL can prohibit products from being placed on the market if there are indications that they do not fulfil the definition of a plant strengthener or cause harmful effects on human and animal health, groundwater or the environment.

Listed plant strengtheners

The BVL keeps a list of plant strengtheners which could be placed on the market. This list, which is updated on a monthly basis, can be downloaded from the right hand column. A plant strengthener is included in this list following its evaluation by the BVL; however, it may be placed on the market already upon receipt of the notification at the BVL. Therefore, it is possible for plant strengtheners to be lawfully on the market although they have not yet been included in this list.

Plant strengtheners which had been listed before 14 February 2012 according to the old Plant Protection Act (PflSchG) were allowed to remain on the market for a transition period until 14 February 2013.

The notification procedure

The BVL must be notified beforehand if a plant strengthener is to be placed on the market. For more information, please click here.

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