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Risk indicators for monitoring progress in the reduction of risk and adverse impacts of plant protection products

The European Commission established two harmonised risk indicators for the European Union for monitoring progress in the reduction of risk and adverse effects of plant protection products (PPPs). Indicator 1 is based on the quantities of PPPs sold in Member States, while indicator 2 is based on the number of emergency authorisations for the use of PPPs. The European Commission plans the introduction of additional risk indicators in the future years.

Calculation of risk indicators

Since 2019, the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection has been obliged to monitor progress in reducing risk and adverse effects of PPPs on health and the environment according to the methodology adopted by the EU. This is determined by the Commission Directive (EU) 2019/782 of 15 May 2019 amending Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the establishment of harmonised risk indicators. To this end, two risk indicators used for monitoring progress must be calculated. Harmonised risk indicators have been established by the European Commission and apply throughout the EU.

Indicator 1 is calculated on the basis of statistical data on quantities of active substances in PPPs placed on the market.

Indicator 2 is calculated on the basis of the number of emergency authorisations for the use of PPPs. 

The indicators for the 2011–2017 period were calculated by the European Commission on the basis of the data sent by Slovenia. The European Commission calculates common risk indicators for the EU from the data sent by the Member States and publishes them on its website in relation to sustainable use of pesticides. 

Calculation of risk indicators for Slovenia

  • • EUROSTAT risk indicators

    The Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) calculated risk indicators 1 and 2 for Slovenia based on the data of the sales of PPPs and number of emergency authorisations for the use of PPPs sent to the European Commission.

Risk indicator 1

Based on their properties, active substances in PPPs are categorised into four groups, which are further divided into seven categories.

Risk indicator 1 is calculated by adding up the annual quantities of active substances in PPPs marketed in the Republic of Slovenia. These active substances are then divided in four groups and seven categories, and quantities sold by these categories are added up. The sums are multiplied by a weighted factor from the methodology of risk factor calculation, and the results of these calculations are then combined.

The baseline for progress monitoring was established by the European Commission as the average value of PPP sales in the 2011–2013 period and marked by a value of 100. The quantities of PPPs sold in the following years will therefore be evaluated in relation to the baseline value of 100. 

Table 1: Evolution of the overall weighted index, with a baseline of 100, average in 2011-2013

2011-2013 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Harmonised Risk Indicator 1 100 111 99 90 99 103 113 103

The table and figure show that the sale of PPPs are slightly under or over the 2011–2013 average. The most probable reasons for sales fluctuations are weather conditions and the occurrence of pests, which determines the scope of use of PPPs in specific years.

Table 2: Evolution of each of the 4 Groups, with a baseline of 100, average in 2011-2013

Group 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1 129 57 114 272 344 292 116
2 110 101 89 99 101 111 106
3 110 92 99 106 123 149 131
4 114 97 88 99 99 97 76

1. Group 1 contains active substances approved in the EU and which, from a chemical aspect, pose a low risk for human health and the environment.
2. Group 2 contains active substances approved in the EU and are not defined as low-risk substances or candidates for substitution.
3. Group 3 contains active substances approved in the EU and are problematic from a chemical aspect, meaning they are candidates for substitution.
4. Group 4 contains active substances that may no longer be used in PPPs in the EU. These are substances that are not approved in the EU but may be sold in Member States until the expiry of the deadline for the sale of stocks.

Figure 2

  • 4 Groups of active substances

    Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection

Table 3: Evolution of each of the 7 Categories, with a baseline of 100, average in 2011-2013

Category 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
A
B 129 57 114 272 344 292 116
C 123 82 95 1044 207 244 274
D 110 101 89 99 101 111 106
E 109 91 100 108 125 153 130
F 124 99 77 75 87 91 138
G 114 97 88 99 99 97 76

A. Category A contains all active substances based on microorganisms and which, from a chemical aspect, pose a low risk for human health and the environment.
B. Category B contains all chemical active substances that pose a low risk for human health and the environment.
C. Category C contains active substances based on microorganisms and are not defined as low-risk substances or candidates for substitution.
D. Category D contains all chemical active substances that are approved in the EU and are not defined as low-risk substances or candidates for substitution.
E. Category E contains active substances approved in the EU and which are problematic from a chemical aspect while not being defined as cancerogenous substances of Category 1A or 1B, and/or substances toxic for reproduction of Category 1A or 1B, and/or as endocrine disruptors.
F. Category F contains active substances approved in the EU and problematic from a chemical aspect while being defined as cancerogenous substances of Category 1A or 1B, and/or substances toxic for reproduction of Category 1A or 1B, and/or as endocrine disruptors where exposure of humans is negligible.
G. Category G contains all active substances that may no longer be used in PPPs in the EU. These are substances that are not approved in the EU but may be sold in Member States in the transitional period until the expiry of the deadline for the sale of PPPs stocks.

Figure 3

  • 7 categories of active substances

    Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection

Risk indicator 2

Indicator 2 is calculated on the basis of the number of emergency authorisations for the use of PPPs granted in the current year. The data were calculated on the basis of active substances in PPPs categorised in four groups and seven categories. The data were added up by categories, multiplied by the weighted factor and then combined. 

Table 4: Evolution of the overall weighted index, with a baseline of 100, average in 2011-2013

2011-2013 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Harmonised Risk Indicator 2 100 40 80 180 160 100 220 220

The figure shows that the total number of emergency authorisations for PPPs in 2016 and 2017 increased in comparison with previous years. This may be due to the increased occurrence of pests and the emergence of new species of pests against which crops cannot be effectively protected with regularly authorised PPPs, therefore, crop producers are seeking other solutions.

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