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Changes concerning plant resistance improvers

The implementation of the new EU Plant Protection Regulation on 14 June 2011 will affect the listing of plant resistance improvers. The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) provides some answers below to the most important questions from applicants and listing holders.

Will there still be plant resistance improvers in the future?

Plant resistance improvers are not subject to harmonised regulations in EU plant protect legislation; they constitute a product category in German legislation. The new German Plant Protection Act, which is in the process of approval, will decide whether this category will continue to exist or not. If plant resistance improvers still exist in the future, their exact definition remains to be seen. However, it is a fact that products which fulfil the definition of a plant protection product according to EU Regulation No 1107/2009 cannot be plant resistance improvers. Accordingly, products which consist of active substances, safeners or synergists or which contain these and are amongst other things intended to protect harmful organisms in plants or plant products or to prevent their development are classified as plant protection products. Products intended to increase the plant's own resilience to pests which can at present be classified as plant resistance improvers according to the Plant Protection Act will therefore be considered in future as plant protection products.

What is the legal situation as from 14 June 2011?

In addition to EU Regulation No 1107/2009, as from 14 June 2011 the "act on the provisional implementation of provisions in the European Union which take immediate effect concerning the authorisation or approval of placing plant protection products on the market" (transitional act) also applies. This transitional act is effective at the same time as the present Plant Protection Act. Both will be replaced later by the act on restructuring plant protection legislation ("new Plant Protection Act"). This means: as from 14 June 2011, today's regulations for plant resistance improvers will continue to be applicable at first, as long as they do not collide with Art. 2 of EU Regulation No 1107/2009.

What will happen with listing applications which are still being processed on 14 June 2011?

Applications which have not been decided on by the deadline will continue to be processed until the new plant protection act takes effect according to § 31a of todays Plant Protection Act, as long as the product does not fall under the definition of plant protection products according to Art. 2 (1) of Regulation (EU) No 1107/2009. Should the evaluation show that this definition is fulfilled, the product must be authorised as a plant protection product and cannot be listed as a plant resistance improver.

What will happen to listing applications which are submitted after 14 June 2011?

The applications will also be processed in this case according to § 31a of the current Plant Protection Act until the new Plant Protection Act comes into force. The definition according to Art. 2 (1) of Regulation No 1107/2009 is also used as a basis to decide on whether a product has to be authorised as a plant protection product or not.

What will happen to plant resistance improvers which are already listed?

Plant resistance improvers which were listed before 14 June 2011 will remain listed for the moment, and as long as they are listed, they may be placed on the market. If the products are defined as plant protection products according to Art. 2 (1) of EU Regulation No 1107/2009, listing can only be for a transitional period whose duration is determined by the legislator. Listing holders who want to continue distributing such products will have to submit an application for authorisation as plant protection products.

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