Codex MRLs

Internationally agreed food standards

Codex maximum residue levels (CXLs) are internationally agreed food standards covering pesticide residues in or on food and feed.

The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) evaluates pesticide residues annually.

Each year the JMPR recommends MRLs to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) for consideration to be adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) as CXLs.

Adoption in Great Britain

HSE is responsible for assessing and recommending which CXLs are adopted in Great Britain.

Risk assessment before adoption

HSE reviews and performs risk assessments for the CXLs that are recommended for adoption as Codex food standards.
To be adopted as a GB MRL the following conditions must be met:

  • Great Britain sets MRLs for the commodity in question
  • the GB MRL is lower than the CXL
  • no human health concerns are identified for UK consumers

GB decisions  

Following the CCPR and CAC meetings, HSE publishes GB decisions on CXLs in the GB Codex MRLs list.

GB Codex MRLs list

The list includes:

  • an evaluation report outlining HSE's recommendations
  • a decision document outlining the CXLs that will be adopted as GB MRLs

Check the GB Codex MRLs list.

GB MRL Statutory Register

Adopted CXLs are added to the GB MRL Statutory Register.

Applications to adopt historic CXLs

You can apply to HSE to consider adopting historic CXLs.

You need to submit a complete dossier which includes the studies assessed by the JMPR to establish the CXLs. You should clarify when the CXL was set and provide details of the relevant JMPR reports and evaluations for toxicology and residues. More detail on what you need to submit.

HSE will review the JMPR assessment, assess whether the CXL is sufficiently supported by data and conclude on whether harmful effects on human health are expected or not.

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Updated 2024-06-10