Authorities and activities

Finding the right authority

The table below will help you find out which of the authorities you should report a plant protection products incident or concern to in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales, this does not include Northern Ireland).

If your plant protection product concern relates to a company based in, or an incident that has occurred in, Northern Ireland please visit the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) website.

If the incident / concern involves… …it should be reported to…
people – where someone has used a plant protection product at your home as part of their work, a professional gardener for example HSE Plant protection products enforcement
people – where someone has used a plant protection product at your home not as part of their work, such as yourself or another member of the general public your local authority
people – other than the scenarios described above, such as in agriculture or forestry use either HSE Plant protection products enforcement or your local authority depending on the type of place involved –
see a full list of places and who has the enforcing responsibility
animals, including wildlife, livestock and pets / companion animals Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
Telephone: 0800 321 600
the environment Environment Agency in England
Telephone: 0800 80 70 60
  Natural Resources Wales in Wales
Telephone: 0300 065 3000
  Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Scotland
Telephone: 03000 99 66 99
rail networks Office of Rail and Road
authorisation or approval concern that a product does not have the necessary authorisation, approval or permit HSE Plant protection products enforcement
trade-to-trade sale
wholesale supply
HSE Plant protection products enforcement
retail sale, including online and in physical stores HSE Plant protection products enforcement
online, newspapers / magazines
HSE Plant protection products enforcement

If you're still not sure which authority you should report to, don't worry! All of the authorities work together, so we will make sure your report gets to the right place.

Other ways the authorities work together include:

  • sharing information, HSE can provide other authorities with:
    • advice on the GB Plant Protection Products Regulation (GB PPPR), and on how individual products are affected by it
    • details of the authorisation status of individual products and the conditions placed on them
    • copies of the authorisation documents
  • supporting prosecutions by providing witness statements

Enforcement laws

The responsibilities of the different authorities described in the table above come from general health and safety law working in combination with more specific enforcement laws for GB PPPR.

General health and safety law

GB PPPR specific law

These laws also define a number of offences and the powers that the authorities may use. Find out more about offences and powers.

Schemes and activities

HSE also runs a number of schemes and activities focussed on the effects of the use of plant protection products in particular areas.

Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS)

The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) investigates the death and illness of wildlife, livestock, pets (usually cats and dogs) and beneficial insects (usually honey bees, bumble bees and earthworms) that are suspected to be caused by poisoning from pesticides (or biocides).

WIIS is primarily a monitoring tool that provides additional information to HSE, which may prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents. However, enforcement action may also be taken where there is clear evidence of a breach of the law.

Find out more about WIIS.

Human health enquiry and incident survey (HHEIS) and resistance reporting

Action for authorisation holders

GB PPPR requires product authorisation holders to report new information about products and active substances that may affect their authorisation. You should report to HSE without delay if you become aware of:

  • any data or information concerning the adverse effects of an active substance or plant protection product on:
    • people – particularly vulnerable groups
    • animals
    • ground water
    • the environment
  • any data or information that might indicate an active substance is contributing to the development of resistance in pest populations
  • any data or information that might indicate a plant protection product is not sufficiently effective

You should include as much information as possible in your reports, including:

  • product name
  • product MAPP number
  • type of incident eg approved use, accident, misuse
  • who or what was affected eg person, animal (including type and species), environment
  • when, where and how the exposure happened
  • symptoms reported
  • treatment details
  • long-term effects
  • any advice issued

The information reported to HSE may prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents. However, enforcement action may also be taken where there is clear evidence of a breach of the law.

To ensure that HSE is receiving this information, we conduct an annual survey where authorisation holders are required to tell us about any information they have received concerning the adverse effects on people only.

Please note: this does not mean you should wait for us to write to you! If you have received information concerning adverse effects, you must tell us without delay.

The results of the survey are compiled into an anonymous report – approval / authorisation holders and products will not be identified. For the latest report, or reports from previous years, please contact us.

Pesticides residues monitoring

HSE regulates pesticide residues on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and other UK government departments. As part of this work HSE runs an annual programme of surveys of food available in GB to check that pesticide residue levels do not exceed the legal levels. 

The UK government is advised on the programme by a panel of independent experts – the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF).

Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) annual report - GOV.UK (

Official controls

To maintain standards of food and feed safety, there are official controls on the production, processing, distribution and use of plant protection products. To implement these controls effectively, HSE has a specific inspection and enforcement scheme which focuses on regular inspection and sampling without prior notice at all stages of production, processing, distribution and use.


See also

Plant protection products enforcement


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Updated 2024-02-09