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Plant protection products (PPP) are preparations used in agriculture for protecting plants and crops from pests, pathogens and weeds. Since their active substances may contain hazardous properties, they must be subject to evaluation and assessment for acceptable use prior to being placed on the market in order to protect human health and the environment.

The procedures of assessing active substances and preparations fall under the blanket term registration. The aim of supervision of the placing on the market and use of PPPs is to minimise the risks to human health and the environment. Slovenia and other EU Member States promote and support plant protection methods alternative to the use of chemical PPPs, although chemical PPPs are still necessary in today’s agricultural practice.

The field of plant protection products covers the registration of PPPs and the granting of authorisations for placing on the market and the use and sustainable use of PPPs, including all measures to ensure the proper use of PPPs in a way to prevent risk to the environment and human health. These measures include training PPP users on the proper use of PPPs, inspection of PPP dispensers, keeping a register of PPP distributors, collecting PPP sales data, monitoring PPP residues in water and food, monitoring PPP poisoning in people, and calculating risk indicators for monitoring the trends of sales and use of PPPs.

Arrangement of plant protection products registration

Since plant protection products (PPPs) may contain hazardous substances, their placing on the market and use are supervised. Active substances in PPPs are approved by the European Commission at the EU level. Only PPPs containing approved active substances may be registered by Member States for placing on their market and use in their territory. The transfer of PPPs across Member State borders is not permitted without an official authorisation from a competent authority. 

In November 2019, 466 active substances for use in PPPs were approved in the EU. 210 active substances in 527 preparations were registered in Slovenia in November 2019. 

Use of plant protection products

The method of use of plant protection products (PPP) has an important role in preventing any negative impacts of PPPs on the environment and human health. PPPs should be used in such a way as to avoid pollution of groundwater and surface waters and to prevent its spread to neighbouring land. The same treatment should apply to the preparation of spray mixtures, the disposal of spray residues and packaging. Personal protective equipment to protect the health of users is compulsory. 

The risk indicators introduced by the European Commission are aimed at monitoring PPP sales, which is the basis for evaluating the use of PPPs. This is the first indicator harmonised at the EU level; additional risk indicators will be introduced in the coming years. 

Measures for the proper use of PPPs and promoting the reduction of PPP use are set out in the National Action Programme for achieving the sustainable use of PPPs, which is revised and updated every five years. The latest National Action Programme was adopted for the 2018–2022 period.