Biostimulants and plant protection product regulation

There are several definitions of biostimulants. Whether the product is covered by the Plant Protection Products Regulation (PPPR) depends on the claims made and the effect it has. This includes chemical and microbial products.

Biostimulants intended to influence the life processes of plants, such as substances influencing their growth, other than as a nutrient or a plant biostimulant, fall under EU Regulation 1107/2009.

A ‘plant biostimulant’, as mentioned above means a product that stimulates plant nutrition processes independently of the product’s nutrient content. This applies when the sole aim is improving the following characteristics of the plant or the plant rhizosphere:

  • nutrient use efficiency;
  • tolerance to abiotic stress;
  • quality traits;
  • availability of confined nutrients in soil or rhizosphere.

Manufacturers using biostimulants should email HSE to discuss their products if they are uncertain whether PPPR authorisation is needed.

Defra are currently considering regulatory approaches to fertilisers, including plant biostimulants. For up-to-date information on fertiliser and biostimulant regulation, contact Defra.

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Updated 2023-10-03