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FAQ on 'Registration of Pesticides'

Q1. What are plant protection products?

‘Plant protection products (PPP)’ or ‘pesticides’ are  a broad term, covering a range of products that are used to control pests. They include:

  • insect killers (insecticides)
  • mould and fungi killers (fungicides)
  • weed-killers (herbicides)
  • slug pellets (molluscicides)
  • plant growth regulators
  • bird and animal repellents
  • rat and mouse killers (rodenticides)

Often people only think of plant protection products as chemicals, but they include a very large range of different types of products. Some are natural (for example, pyrethrums, obtained from chrysanthemums), while many are altered versions of natural chemicals.

You can find an introduction to the registration system at Introduction to the regulation of pesticides

Q2. What plant protection products does HSE regulate?

HSE regulates plant protection products for use in agriculture, horticulture and the home garden situation. Further information on the scope of the regulations for these products can be found in An Introduction to Active Substance Approval and Product Authorisation.

Non-agricultural pesticides and biocides are also regulated by HSE. Information about Biocides.

Q3. What legislation deals with plant protection products?

Information on the current legislation concerning agricultural, horticultural and home garden pesticides in the UK is available in  An Introduction to Active Substance Approval and Product Authorisation.

Legislation concerning biocides and non-agricultural plant protection products Biocides: The basics.

Q4. Do organic, natural or bio plant protection products have to be registered?

All plant protection products (PPPs) must be authorised for use in Great Britain This includes organic, natural or bio pesticides. Please see Q5 How do I register a product/ What data is required to register a product for further details on registering agricultural, horticultural and home garden PPPs.
The use of macro-organisms (such as insects) which are non-indigenous species to the UK falls under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1985 (as amended). The use of such organisms, therefore, requires a licence. Please see the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website for more information.

Products containing viable micro-organisms such as bacteria or viruses (often referred to as ‘biologicals’) as the active substance also require authorisation under PPP regulations. Further information on biologicals can be found on our website.

Products containing pheromones or other attractants and marketed for use as traps are plant protection products and require authorisation before they can be marketed. However, unless combined with an insecticide, products intended solely to monitor insect populations do not require an authorisation.

Q5. how do i register a product and what data is required to register a product?

Gaining authorisation of a plant protection product (pesticide) can be very complex and may be expensive. In the first instance you should refer to guidance on registration for details on how to gain authorisation for a plant protection product (note: this area of the website deals with agricultural, horticultural and home garden pesticides).

If you are doing development work on a new plant protection product, you might need to apply for a Trials Permit. More information can be found in The Applicant Guide: Trials Permits.

Q6. How do I register an Extension of Authorisation for a Minor Use?

For information on how to register an Extension of Use, please refer to our Applicant Guide.

Q7. How much does it cost to register a plant protection product?

This depends upon what type of application you are making. Simple changes to an authorised product, for example, a change in the product name, can be considered in an Administrative application. However, if you wanted to add an entirely new crop to the label or change the field of use from agricultural to home garden, this would require more detailed consideration and the evaluation of data, subsequently the fee would be higher.

Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis and the relevant fee determined. Details of our fees can be found on our website.

Q8. How long does it take to register a plant protection product?

This depends upon the nature of the application you make and what changes you request. For example, a simple change in product name will take less time than a change in field of use from a professional product to a home garden. The length of time to complete an evaluation is very much a case-by-case basis. Details of the current processing times can be found in our Applicant Guide.

Q9. How do I go about importing a plant protection product for my own use in the Great Britain or Northern Ireland?

Though you may be able to get commercial authorisation, you cannot import plant protection products into Great Britain for your own use.

If you wish to bring a plant protection product into Norther Ireland which is the same as one which is already authorised in Northern Ireland, then you may be able to apply for a Parallel Trade Permit.

If you wish to bring into Great Britain a plant protection product which is not the same as one which is already authorised here, then you will need to gain commercial authorisation for that product. For further details please see  Q5 'How do I register a product and whatt data is required to register a product?'

Q10. How do I go about importing a plant protection product so I can sell it in Great Britain or Northern Ireland?

If you wish to bring a plant protection product into Northern Ireland which is the same as one which is already authorised, then you may be able to apply for a Parallel Trade Permit.

If you wish to bring into Great Britain a plant protection product which is not the same as one which is already authorised here, then you will need to gain commercial authorisation for this product. For further details please see the Q5 'How do I register a product/ What data is required to register a product?

Q11. I want to make a change to my current product, what do I need to do?

Depending on what changes you wish to make you will need to come in with an application. Information on how changes will be processed can be found in our Applicant Guide.

Q12. How do I label my plant protection product?

Our Labelling Handbook provides guidance on how to label your product, such as size, graphics, text etc.

Q13. Why is the Great Britain (GB) reviewing plant protection products?

The aim of the GB Review is to ensure that the risk assessments underlying plant protection product authorisations continue to meet modern standards and help make sure that they continue to be used safely.

If your application is for a new active substance or active substance renewal, the Assessment Manager will inform you of the start date. The Assessment Manager will also keep you informed of progress with your application and the intended meeting dates for the GB regulatory bodies when they are known.

Q14. What does MAPP mean?

Each product must carry a unique product registration number which is allocated upon issue of the first commercial authorisation for that product. It is this registration number which (for agricultural, horticultural and home garden products) is also referred to as a ‘MAPP’ number.

MAPP stands for ‘Ministerially Approved Pesticide Product’ number. It has been issued for all new products given authorisation on or after 1 July 1999, or where authorisation has been given for a significant change in identity for an existing product on or after 1 July 1999.

The Applicant Guide provides more details on MAFF and MAPP numbers.

Q15. I want to export a plant protection product to another country, how do I obtain a Certificate of Freesale?

Certificates of Freesale are issued by the Health and Safety Executive to companies wishing to export plant protection products (PPP). This process facilitates the export of PPPs to countries which may not have their own regulatory regimes. There is no charge for this service.

Further information is available on how to apply for a Certificate of Freesale.

Q16. Where do I send my applications?

Information on how and where to submit applications ia available in the Applicant Guide: How will my application be processed - Where do I submit my Application?

Q17. How do I find out who will be dealing with my application for authorisation?

The Evaluating Officer assigned to deal with your application will inform you once the application is started. Further information is available on the following page: The Applicant Guide: How Will My Application Be Processed?

Q18. What is comparative assessment?

We have a list of questions and answers regarding Comparative Assessment and the list of Candidates for Substitution and a Guidance Document.

Updated 2021-01-12