Farmers and growers using Plant Protection Products (PPP)

This guidance is for farmers and growers (including forestry) using agricultural and horticultural plant protection products, also known as pesticides.

Using and storing plant protection products information on authorisations

These lists and databases can help you to find information on each plant protection product:

Parallel imports (Northern Ireland only)

Farmers and growers may import pesticides for their own use in Northern Ireland. There is separate guidance on Parallel Trade Permits for Pesticides for 'Own-Use'.

Codes of practice

Guidance on good practice in the use of PPPs:

Other Codes of Practice are available.


Anyone who uses a professional plant protection product in the course of their business or employment should not use that product, or give instruction to others on its use, unless they have received adequate instruction, training and guidance.

This Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products has further information.

Aerial spraying

Those carrying out aerial spraying operations must make sure that:

  • the spraying is done in line with an approved Application Plan
  • specific spray operations have been permitted by HSE

The Application Plan must be completed by aerial spraying operators and submitted to HSE. It must contain details that will allow HSE to approve the Plan and permit any spray operations carried out in line with it. Further information about Application Plans and Aerial Spraying Permitting Arrangements.

Organic farming

Organic farmers need to take care to follow plant protection product legislation, as well as organic rules when choosing substances to protect crops from pest or diseases.

Further guidance

Local Environmental Risk Assessments for Pesticides (LERAP)

You may be able to reduce the buffer zone specified on the product label, for the protection of water, on certain plant protection products. This may be achieved by carrying out a Local Environment Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAP). There are two schemes, including an extension to the LERAP scheme for horizontal boom sprayers.

Regulatory updates

Regulatory Updates provide information on changes to legal requirements for Authorisation Holders, application procedures and the authorisation process, and inclusion of products on the Official List of adjuvants.

Pesticides bulletins

Regulatory updates information is issued as a news item or in pesticides ebulletins. Subscribers to pesticides bulletins will be alerted to regulatory updates as well as other news such as information about training events hosted by HSE.

Subscribe to Pesticide Bulletins

Other sources of information

Monitoring and enforcement issues

Data on the usage of pesticides in the UK has been collated from across Great Britain for the last 50 years in the Pesticides Usage Survey

The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme is essentially a monitoring tool to inform the pesticide approval process. However, where there is clear evidence of a breach of pesticide law enforcement action may be taken. Find out more on PPP enforcement.

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Updated 2021-10-07