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FAQ on Information on Pesticide Products

Brexit: Transition period

The UK has now left the EU. Your health and safety responsibilities have not changed in the transition period.

Find the latest information on our Brexit pages

Q1. How do I find out if a pesticide is authorised for use in the UK?

You can search our database of authorised pesticide products. The easiest way is to type in the 'MAPP Number' which is given on the pesticide label. Otherwise you can use the product name. If the pesticide has an authorisation, the database will show you details including the expiry date. If you click on the name of the product in the table it will take you to full details of the product’s authorisation including its Notice of Authorisation.

Q2. Does my pesticide product still have an authorisation?

As explained above you can check the authorisation status of a product by using our website database (see Q1). If your search results in no record for the product that means the product is no longer authorised. If this is the case you will need to dispose of it responsibly. Professional users will need to contact a specialist company that deals with these types of products. Amateur users should contact their local Civic Amenity site and ask them for guidance on disposal.

Please note: It is illegal to use or store any pesticide product that is no longer authorised. In some cases the authorisation for using the pesticide product on a particular crop or situation may end before the expiry date for the pesticide product. If you wish to check whether this is the case, please see question 3 or contact us.

Q3. How do I check whether I can use a particular pesticide on a particular crop?

You will need to:

  1. search our database of authorised pesticide products to find the pesticide product you are looking for;
  2. look at the detailed information on the 'notice of authorisation' for that pesticide which will show the crops or situations where the product can be used;
  3. if the 'notice of authorisation' does not cover the crops you wish to treat you can also check whether there are any Extensions of authorisation for Minor Uses (previously known as 'off-label' approvals) for the product. These are authorised uses which are not given always given on pesticide labels. They are only available for agricultural (professional) pesticides. See Q5 for further information.

Q4. I have a problem with a particular pest/weed. What can I use to control it?

Our database does not give details of the problems that each pesticide controls. This information can be found on the pesticide label, from your pesticides supplier, DIY shop or gardening centre, or from the Authorisation Holder (pesticide company).

Q5. What are Extensions of authorisation for minor use (formerly know as 'off-labels' approvals) and the Long Term Arrangements for Extension of Use?

"Extensions of authorisation" may not be listed on the product label. They only apply to agricultural uses of pesticides and the user must accept any commercial risk from their use.

There are two types.

i) The Long Term Arrangements for Extension of Use (LTAEUs)

We have made special arrangements to allow pesticides already authorised for use on one crop, to be used on similar crops without having to get another full authorisation. These arrangements are called the Long Term Arrangements for Extensions of Use (LTAEU). Link to further Information on LTAEU - you must read and follow this guidance in order to use these arrangements. However, please note that these arrangements are currently being phased out and now only apply to use on non-edible crops.

ii) Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (previously known as Specific Off-label Approvals - SOLAs).

Users and Authorisation holders of agricultural plant protection products may apply to have the authorisation of a specific product extended to cover additional uses to those shown on the product label. Any such “Extensions of Authorisation for Minor Use” granted may have additional conditions of use attached to them. Use in these cases is undertaken at the user's choosing, and the commercial risk is entirely theirs. Users are required to be in possession of the relevant "Extension of Use" details when using the product for that use, and must follow any extra conditions of use as well as those given on the product label. Electronic copies of Extensions of Use can be obtained from the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) website database:

Extensions of Authorisation for Minor Use (formally known as Specific Off-Label Approvals or SOLA). Searches can be made by product name, crop and pests.

Q6. Can treated seed be brought into the UK from another EU Member State or from a country outside the EU?

Provided the seed is treated with a plant protection product that is authorised as a seed treatment for that use in at least one EU Member State it may be brought into the UK and marketed and used here.

The label and documents accompanying the treated seed must include:

  • the name of the plant protection product with which the seed was treated;
  • the name(s) of the active substance(s) in that product;
  • the standard phrases for safety precautions as provided for in Regulation (EC) No.1907/2006; and
  • any risk mitigation measures set out in the authorisation for that product where appropriate.

Please note that whilst Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 will ultimately replace Directive 1999/45/EC, the transitional arrangements in it permit Directive 1999/45/EC to continue until about 2015.


1. The placing on the market and labelling of treated seeds in the UK is covered by Articles 49(1) and 49(4) respectively of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009. This Regulation forbids an EU Member State from prohibiting the placing on the market and use of seeds treated with a plant protection product authorised in another Member State.

2. Regulation 10(1) of the UK's Plant Protection Product Regulations 2011 states that a person must not place on the market or use seeds treated with plant protection products that are NOT authorised for use on such seeds in any EU Member State.

Q7. If a pesticide is not authorised in the UK can it be used here?

No, if a pesticide product does not have an authorisation for use in the UK, it is illegal to use that pesticide here.

There are several reasons why a pesticide may not be authorised in the UK:

  • No one has applied for authorisation for the pesticide product in this country.
  • The Authorisation Holder/Marketing company has withdrawn a previously authorised pesticide product from the market for commercial reasons such as declining sales, or a decision not to continue to support the product through EU Review processes for the active substance.
  • New evidence has shown that the 'active substance' (chemical which makes it work) or product may be harmful to humans, animals or the environment, and previous authorisations have been revoked. Further information on the active substances which can be used in pesticide products is available on this website.

Q8. Why are some pesticide products 'withdrawn'?

Voluntarily withdrawn pesticide products:

As mentioned above in Q6., a company may withdraw their pesticide product from the market because:

  • there are commercial reasons such as declining sales; and/or
  • the pesticide is being reviewed and they do not want to pay for extra scientific studies to show it meets up-to-date safety standards.

It is possible that they may put the pesticide back on the market in the future, if demand improves or if the extra scientific studies required to meet the latest standards are provided

CRD Enforced withdrawal of pesticide products:

The Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) may withdraw the authorisation for a pesticide product if new evidence has shown that the 'active substance' (chemical which makes it work) or product formulation may be harmful to humans, animals or the environment.

EU legislation (particularly Council Directive 79/117/EEC) has previously prohibited (sometimes known as "banned") the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances which, even if applied in an approved manner, could give rise to harmful effects on human health or the environment.

From 14 June 2011, the marketing of plant protection products in the EU has been subject to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. This Regulation prohibits use of any active substances in plant protection products unless they have been approved for that purpose in accordance with the Regulation. This means that the Council Directive 79/117/EEC is no longer needed, and the Directive was therefore repealed, also from 14 June 2011.

Link to further information.

Q9. Where can I find a list of active substances that are approved for use in the EU?

The European Commission provides a database of active substances currently and previously approved for use in the EU.

The following guidance will help you to obtain an up to date list of the active substances in the European Union from the EC database:

  • Please go to the following webpage EU Pesticides database. Click on "Search active substances" on the left hand side which will take you to another page.
  • Click on the "Advanced Search" box at the top and in the "Status" criteria select ""All", "Not Approved" or "Approved", "Pending" or "Not a plant protection product".
  • To export the list to an Excel file, click on the "Export to Excel button.

Q10. What are Back-Stop Expiry Dates and when were they amended ?

In Regulatory Update No. 24/2010: Extension to Back-Stop Expiry Dates for COPR Products, the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) confirmed that for certain authorisations granted under Control of Pesticides Regulation (as amended) 1986 (COPR), the final “back-stop” expiry date had been extended from 31 December 2013 to 31 December 2021. For these Authorisations, whilst the search results screen on the CRD website database shows the final expiry date as 2021, this may not be reflected in the last available Notice of Authorisation, which could show an earlier date.

(Note that COPR product approvals had previously been issued with a ‘back-stop’ expiry date of 31 December 2012 for advertisement, sale and supply and 31 December 2013 for storage and use.

However, some of the decisions on Annex I inclusion had not been made by 31 December 2012 and as a consequence more time was required to enable the re-registration of products containing the included active substances.)

Why do some of the Notice of Authorisations not show the later date?

The extension to the expiry date was issued as a “blanket amendment”. Individual notices were not updated.

What if a product that was already under a revocation notice?

Where products were already under a phased revocation (wind down), the revocation dates remained unchanged.

What happens when a final deadline for re-registration of an active substance is reached ?

The extension of approvals (now known as authorisations) may only continue up to the final deadline for re-registration of an active substance. Further revocation action will therefore be taken six months prior to the final re-registration deadline.

Q11. If the authorisation on the label of a product is for use on Winter Wheat, can this be used on autumn sown Spring Wheat varieties?

Products only authorised for use on Winter Wheat can legally be used on Spring Wheat when this is sown in the autumn rather than the spring. However, before treating spring varieties sown in the autumn users should take note of any label varietal restrictions or contact the authorisation holder.

Q12. When does ‘winter’ end and ‘spring’ begin as far as the qualifiers are concerned?

CRD's risk assessment assumes crops sown/ planted up until the end of January in the year of harvest to be winter crops. Crops sown 1st February or later (for harvest in the same calendar year) are considered spring crops. Therefore in general terms a winter crop is assumed to be sown/ planted anytime from late summer to the end of January in the year of harvest and a spring crop is assumed to be sown/planted on or after 1st February in the year of harvest.

Updated 2020-08-11