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FAQ on 'Registration of Pesticides'

Q1. What are Pesticides?

'Pesticide' is a broad term, covering a range of products that are used to control pests. They include:

  • insect killers (insecticides),
  • mould and fungi killers (fungicides),
  • weed-killers (herbicides),
  • slug pellets (molluscicides),
  • plant growth regulators,
  • bird and animal repellents and
  • rat and mouse killers (rodenticides).

Often people only think of pesticides as chemicals, but they include a very large range of different types of products. Some are natural (eg, pyrethrums, obtained from chrysanthemums), while many are altered versions of natural chemicals.

You can find an introduction to the registration system at Introduction to the Regulation of Pesticides

Q2. What pesticides does CRD regulate?

CRD regulates pesticides for use in plant protection, used in agriculture, horticulture and the home garden situation (such pesticides will often be referred to in this website and in the legislation as 'plant protection products'). Further information on the scope of the regulations for these products can be found in An Introduction to Active Substance Approval and Product Authorisation.

Non-agricultural pesticides and biocides are also regulated by CRD. However, information about these products is held on the HSE website at the following link: Biocides Website

Link to page with further information on CRD's Pesticides responsibilities.

Q3. What legislation deals with pesticides?

Information on the current legislation concerning agricultural, horticultural and home garden pesticides in the UK is available at the following link: An Introduction to Active Substance Approval and Product Authorisation.

Legislation concerning biocides and non-agricultural pesticides can be found on the HSE website at the following link: Biocides: The Law.

Q4. Do organic, natural or bio pesticides have to be registered?

All pesticide products must be authorised for use in the UK. This includes organic, natural or bio pesticides. Please see the question 5 'How do I register a product/What data is required to register a product' for further details on registering agricultural, horticultural and home garden pesticides.

The use of macro-organisms (such as insects) which are non-indigenous species to the UK, falls under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1985 (as amended). The use of such organisms, therefore, requires a licence.

Products containing viable micro-organisms such as bacteria or viruses (often referred to as 'biologicals') as the active substance also require authorisation under pesticide regulations. Further information on biologicals can be found on our website.

Products containing pheromones or other attractants and marketed for use as traps are plant protection products and require authorisation before they can be marketed. However, unless combined with an insecticide, products intended solely to monitor insect populations do not require an authorisation.

Q5. how do i register a product/ what data is required to register a product?

Gaining authorisation of a pesticide can be very complex and may be expensive. In the first instance you should refer to our website for details on how to gain authorisation for a pesticide product (nb. this area of the website deals with agricultural, horticultural and home garden pesticides). Pesticides Registration Home Page.

If you are doing development work on a new pesticide, you might need to apply for a Trials Permit. More information can be found on the following page: The Applicant Guide: Trials Permits.

Q6. How do I register an Extension of Authorisation for a Minor Use (previously known as Specific Off Label Approval SOLA )?

For information on how to register an Extension of Use, please refer to our Applicant Guide.

Q7. How much does it cost to register a pesticide product?

This depends upon what type of application you are making. Simple changes to an authorised product, for example a change in the product name, can be considered in an Administrative application. However, if you wanted to add an entirely new crop to the label or change the field of use from agricultural to home garden, this would require more detailed consideration and the evaluation of data, subsequently the fee would be higher.

Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis and the relevant fee determined. Details of our fees can be found on our website.

Q8. How Long Does it Take to Register a Product?

This depends upon the nature of the application you make and what changes you request. For example, a simple change in product name will take less time than a change in field of use from a professional product to a home garden. The length of time to complete an evaluation is very much a case-by-case basis. Details of the current processing times can be found in our Applicant Guide.

Q9. How do I go about Importing a Pesticide Product for my Own Use in the UK?

If you wish to bring a pesticide product into the United Kingdom (UK) which is the same as one which is already authorised here, then you may be able to apply for a Parallel Trade Permit for 'Own-Use'.

If you wish to bring into the UK a pesticide product which is not the same as one which is already authorised here in the UK, then you will need to gain commercial authorisation for this product. For further details please see the question 5 'How do I register a product/What data is required to register a product?'

Q10. How do I go about Importing a Pesticide Product so I can Sell it in the UK?

If you wish to bring a pesticide product into the UK which is the same as one which is already authorised here, then you may be able to apply for a Parallel Trade Permit.

If you wish to bring into the UK a pesticide product which is not the same as one which is already authorised here in the UK, then you will need to gain commercial authorisation for this product. For further details please see the question 5 'How do I register a product/What data is required to register a product?'

Q11. I want to make a Change to my Current Product, what do I Need to do?

Depending on what changes you wish to make you will need to come in with an application. Information on how changes will be processed can be found in our Applicant Guide.

Q12. I want to Know How to Label My Product

Our Labelling Handbook provides guidance on how to label your product, such as size, graphics, text etc.

Q13. Why is the EU Reviewing Pesticides?

The aim of the EU Review is to ensure that the risk assessments underlying pesticide authorisations continue to meet modern standards and help make sure that they continue to be used safely.

Q14. What does MAFF or MAPP mean?

Each product must carry a unique product registration number which is allocated upon issue of the first commercial authorisation for that product. It is this registration number which (for agricultural, horticultural and home garden products) is also referred to as a MAFF or MAPP number.

'MAPP' stands for 'Ministerially Approved Pesticide Product' number. It has been issued for all new products given authorisation on or after 1 July 1999, or where authorisation has been given for a significant change in identity for an existing product on or after 1 July 1999.

All agricultural, horticultural or home garden pesticide products which were given authorisation (previously know as approval) before 1 July 1999 were issued with a 'MAFF' registration number. 'MAFF' refers to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The devolution of Scotland and Wales lead to the MAPP numbers being used instead.

The Applicant Guide provides more details on MAFF and MAPP numbers.

Q15. I want to export a Pesticide to another country, how do I obtain a Certificate of Freesale?

Certificates of Freesale are issued by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) to companies wishing to export pesticides. This process facilitates the export of pesticides to countries which may not have their own pesticide regulatory regimes. There is no charge for this service.

You should not need a certificate of this kind to export pesticides between countries within the EU.

Link to information on how to apply for a Certificate of Freesale

Q16. Where do I send my applications?

Please see information on how and where to submit applications in the Applicant Guide: How will my application be processed - Where do I submit my Application?

Q17. How do I find out who will be dealing with my application for authorisation?

The Evaluating Officer assigned to deal with your application will inform you once the application is started. Further information is available on the following page: The Applicant Guide: How Will My Application Be Processed?

Q18. What is Comparative Assessment?

We have a list of questions and answers regarding Comparative Assessment and the list of Candidates for Substitution (Link to list of questions and answers on Comparative Assessment ) and a Guidance Document: COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT AND SUBSTITUTION: Guide for UK applicants for Plant Protection Product authorisation

Updated 2017-03-06