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Approval of Commodity Substances - An Introduction

Commodity substances are chemicals which have a variety of non-pesticide uses as well as minor uses as pesticides. Historically, such a substance required approval under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR), which was granted for use only. More recently, these arrangements have been superseded by legislation derived from the EU, but some COPR approvals remain in place for the time being.

Sale, supply, storage and advertisement of a commodity substance as a pesticide is an offence unless specific authorisation has been granted for the substance to be marketed as a pesticide under an authorised label. Anyone wishing to sell, supply, store or advertise any of these substances specifically as pesticides has to seek specific authorisation under the relevant legislation for plant protection products.

Information about the status of commodity substances for plant protection uses is given below. The approval schedule detailing the conditions which a user must follow when using the commodity substance can be viewed by selecting the substance name.

Plant Protection Uses

Currently approved commodity substances

The following substances have been approved for use for plant protection purposes and included in Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No 540/2011, which implements Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 regarding the list of approved active substances.

Article 23 of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 introduces harmonised arrangements for approval of commodity substances, which are known as 'basic substances' in the EU regime. We will issue further advice on the possible approval of these commodity substances as basic substances when they are reviewed/renewed.

Currently Approved Commodity Substances



Approved until

Carbon dioxide

Insecticide, acaricide and rodenticide in food storage practice

31 August 2021


Plant growth regulator in food storage practice

31 August 2022

Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate (Bicarbonate)

Horticultural fungicide on protected and outdoor crops

31 August 2021


Forestry fungicide on cut tree stumps

31 August 2021

Further Information

Updated 2021-03-23