British businesses that wish to place a new pesticide on the EU market in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit will need to make a separate application to the EU, a process which could take up to three years.
New government guidance has been issued this week by Defra which encourages the pesticides industry to prepare for the possible event of a 'no deal' EU exit.
Businesses that produce pesticides will need to take different actions to be able to supply new pesticides to the UK and EU markets in the event of such a scenario.
However, Defra has highlighted how the 'high scientific standard' to which decisions on the use of pesticides are made will not change.
"We will continue to be guided by the most up-to-date scientific assessment of the risks to animals and the environment," the department said in a statement.
If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, pesticides currently available in the UK at the point of exit will continue to be so, allowing products to be marketed and used as normal.
Future Plant Protection Products (PPPs) applications for use and renewals in the UK will continue to be considered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), on behalf of Defra and the devolved administrations.
The format and data requirements for new applications will remain the same as they do now.
However, yhe key change would be that if a business wishes to place a new pesticide on the EU market they will need to make a separate application to the EU, a process which could take up to three years.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal there will be an Implementation Period (IP) during which the UK will continue to follow decisions made by the EU on pesticide approvals and Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs).
The key difference for businesses is that, during the IP, the UK will not be able to act as a ‘leading authority’ under the EU regime and the HSE will be unable to conduct active substance or MRL evaluations.
Therefore, businesses wishing to supply new pesticides to the UK and/or EU markets would need to make an application to a competent authority in an EU Member State.