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EU fertilising products

26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on fertilising products, as announced in the circular economy action plan. The proposal modernises the conformity assessment and market surveillance in line with the ‘new legislative framework’ for product legislation, covers a wider range of fertilising products (including those manufactured from secondary raw materials), and sets limits for the presence of heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 5 June 2019. The regulation will apply in full from 16 July 2022. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Fertilisers Regulation 2003/2003

04-05-2016

While Regulation 2003/2003 has clearly contributed to the removal of trade barriers for EC fertilisers and is generally cost-efficient, its effectiveness in terms of health and environmental protection appears mixed. Recent analyses indicate that one of its central weaknesses lies in the fact that it is mainly being used for conventional inorganic mineral fertilisers. As a result, nearly half of the fertilisers currently on the EU market are not covered by the Regulation, with negative impacts on ...

While Regulation 2003/2003 has clearly contributed to the removal of trade barriers for EC fertilisers and is generally cost-efficient, its effectiveness in terms of health and environmental protection appears mixed. Recent analyses indicate that one of its central weaknesses lies in the fact that it is mainly being used for conventional inorganic mineral fertilisers. As a result, nearly half of the fertilisers currently on the EU market are not covered by the Regulation, with negative impacts on the use of potentially more environmentally-friendly alternatives and on innovation. In addition, the Regulation does not include limits to the content of heavy metals such as cadmium and other contaminants. It is thus fair to conclude that, in its present form, Regulation 2003/2003 does not entirely reflect the current fertilising materials market situation and is not fully aligned with EU policy goals. A revision of the Regulation was already planned during the previous Commission term and has now been linked to the Circular Economy Strategy. A proposal for a Regulation to foster the use of organic and waste-based fertilisers, addressing some of the shortcomings of the existing Regulation and introducing limits for certain contaminants was published by the European Commission on 17 March 2016.

Scientific Aspects Underlying the Regulatory Framework in the Area of Fertilisers – State of Play and Future Reforms

15-12-2016

This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) on the proposed cadmium regulation for phosphate fertilisers. Cadmium is a metal that can have adverse health effects on the general population. The use of mineral phosphate fertilisers contributes to about 60% of current cadmium emissions to soil. The proposed regulation aims to reduce soil and crop cadmium concentrations on the long term in most European regions ...

This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) on the proposed cadmium regulation for phosphate fertilisers. Cadmium is a metal that can have adverse health effects on the general population. The use of mineral phosphate fertilisers contributes to about 60% of current cadmium emissions to soil. The proposed regulation aims to reduce soil and crop cadmium concentrations on the long term in most European regions.

Proceedings of the Workshop on Reforming Single Market for fertilising products

15-03-2017

The workshop organised by the Policy Department A for the IMCO Committee aimed at discussing the revision of the fertilisers’ regulation proposed by the European Commission and its possible implications for producers, farmers and other users. It allowed exchange of views on the new regulatory proposal. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

The workshop organised by the Policy Department A for the IMCO Committee aimed at discussing the revision of the fertilisers’ regulation proposed by the European Commission and its possible implications for producers, farmers and other users. It allowed exchange of views on the new regulatory proposal. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Externí autor

Piotr KWIATKOWSKI, Osnabrück University and Aneta WIEWIÓROWSKA-DOMAGALSKA, Osnabrück University

CE-marked fertilising products

20-03-2019

In March 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal on fertilising products, which would extend the scope of existing legislation, notably to cover organic and waste-based fertilisers, and set limits on heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. At its March II 2019 plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the agreement reached on the file after trilogue negotiations.

In March 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal on fertilising products, which would extend the scope of existing legislation, notably to cover organic and waste-based fertilisers, and set limits on heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. At its March II 2019 plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the agreement reached on the file after trilogue negotiations.

Revision of the Explosives Precursors Regulation

10-07-2018

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The ...

Explosives precursors can be found in various chemical products used by consumers, general professional users, and industrial users, for example, in detergents, fertilisers, special fuels, lubricants and greases, water treatment chemicals. They can be used by terrorists to produce home-made explosives (HME). In April 2018 the European Commission put forward a proposal for a new regulation, accompanied by an impact assessment (IA) and an evaluation, which have been performed at the same time. The IA has attempted to provide a rather detailed, albeit mainly qualitative, analysis of the various types of impacts, disregarding some limitations to obtain data, such as a risk of exposing vulnerabilities in Member States and of jeopardising ongoing investigations and prosecutions. The IA notes that many SMEs are not part of the EU level industry associations, which have been consulted while drafting the ex-post evaluation. A question arises if the SMEs have been targeted at the stakeholder consultation in any other way, which appears not to be the case. The public consultation took less than 12 weeks, which is not in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

Towards food security in Africa: Are international private-public initiatives paving the way?

16-10-2017

The rise in global hunger in recent years undermines the perspective of 'zero hunger by 2030' set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. Africa is particularly affected, with more than a quarter of its population living in a situation of severe food insecurity, and its agriculture suffering from major hindrances to production. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) is one of the international initiatives that have both raised high expectations and opened up controversy ...

The rise in global hunger in recent years undermines the perspective of 'zero hunger by 2030' set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030. Africa is particularly affected, with more than a quarter of its population living in a situation of severe food insecurity, and its agriculture suffering from major hindrances to production. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) is one of the international initiatives that have both raised high expectations and opened up controversy. Bringing together governments from both the North and the South, multinational firms and international agencies, it aims to boost investment in African agriculture so as to increase food security. Improved commercial seeds, use of inorganic fertilisers, infrastructure development and land-administration reforms are among the key elements of the project, underpinned by the use of public-private partnerships. After its first years of implementation, NAFSN proponents praise its market-oriented reforms and investments in the African countries involved. By contrast, its critics say that while paying lip service to smallholders, it serves the interests of corporate farming with no proven impact on food security. In 2016, the European Parliament voiced its concerns, pointing at a number of negative repercussions mainly on small-holders, and calling for a deep revamp of the NAFSN and the European Union (EU) support for agro-ecology based on small-scale farming. This briefing is a follow-up of an EP Library Briefing from October 2013.

New rules on CE marked fertilising products

18-07-2016

Overall, the IA has managed to present well the problem and policy options of a complex policy area. The explanation of the need to revise the existing regulation is clear, as are the policy choices. Nevertheless, it is not very clear from the content and structure of both parts of the IA IA report just how firmly this proposal is integrated into the Circular Economy agenda which it is meant to help implement. Furthermore, the IA does not always provide clear information regarding the effects on ...

Overall, the IA has managed to present well the problem and policy options of a complex policy area. The explanation of the need to revise the existing regulation is clear, as are the policy choices. Nevertheless, it is not very clear from the content and structure of both parts of the IA IA report just how firmly this proposal is integrated into the Circular Economy agenda which it is meant to help implement. Furthermore, the IA does not always provide clear information regarding the effects on SMEs, and the low numbers of  responses in the SMEs test raises the question of the extent to which it is representative. Finally, both parts of the IA report refrain from giving more concrete timelines other than saying repeatedly ‘in the long run’. The presentation therefore suffers from a somewhat vague timeframe throughout the analysis.

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity?

06-03-2017

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time ...

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time), and then intervening in a targeted way to maximise the productivity of each plant and animal, whilst minimising any waste of resources.

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