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Plant protection products (PPP) are formulations used in agriculture for protecting plants and crops from pests, pathogens and weeds. Because their active substances may contain hazardous properties, they shall, with a view to protect human health and the environment, undergo an evaluation and assessment of acceptable use before being placed on the market. The procedures of evaluating active substances and formulations are called authorisation. The aim of the surveillance of the placing on the market and use of PPPs is to minimise the risks to human health and the environment. Slovenia and 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 authorisation of PPPs and the granting of authorisations for placing on the market, the use and sustainable use of PPPs, including all measures for ensuring the proper use of PPPs to ensure they do not pose a risk to the environment and human health. These measures include training PPP users on the proper use of PPPs, inspection of PPP spraying equipment, keeping a register of PPP distributors, collecting PPP sales data, monitoring PPP residues in water and food, monitoring PPP poisoning in humans and calculating risk indicators for monitoring the trends of sales and use of PPPs.

Arrangement of the field of plant protection product authorisation

Plant protection products may contain hazardous substances, so their placing on the market and use are supervised. Active substances in PPPs are authorised by the European Commission at the EU level. Only PPPs containing approved active substances may be authorised by Member States for placing on their market and use on their territory. Transfer of PPPs across borders of Member States is not permitted without an official authorisation of a competent authority.  

In November 2019, 466 active substances for use in PPPs were authorised in the EU. 210 active substances in 527 formulations were authorised in Slovenia in November 2019. 

Use of plant protection products

The method of application of plant protection products has an important role in preventing any negative impacts of PPPs on the environment and human health. PPPs should be used in a way that avoids polluting the groundwater and surface waters and prevents its spreading to neighbouring surfaces. The same treatment should be applied to the formulation of spraying mixtures, the disposal of the residual spray and packaging. Personal protective equipment for protecting 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 assessing the use of PPPs. This is the first indicator harmonised at the EU level; additional risk indicators will be introduced in the following years. 

Measures for the proper use of PPPs and promoting the reduction of PPP use are set out in the National Action Plan 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. 

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