How will the new EU fertiliser regulations affect product labelling?

The EU is adopting new rules for placing and selling of fertilising products in the EU market. A new regulation is being introduced that unifies the requirements for fertilisers produced from phosphate minerals and from organic or secondary raw materials in the EU. From 16th July 2022 this regulation will be in place for all fertiliser products sold in the EU. The new regulation replaces the previous 2003 fertilisers regulation, covers all types of fertilisers (mineral, organic, soil improvers, growing matters, etc.).

Quality and safety standards

These new rules will ensure that only fertilisers that meet EU-wide high quality and safety requirements and standards can be sold freely across the EU. The regulation sets harmonised limits for a range of contaminants, such as cadmium, which is found in mineral and phosphate fertilisers.

Contaminants can pose a risk

The contaminants in phosphate fertilising products, such as cadmium, can potentially pose a risk to human, animal and plant health. For this reason, to ensure health and safety of users, and the environment, the content of such contaminants will be limited in accordance with the new rules.

Production opportunities

The regulation changes do however create new possibilities for the production and marketing of fertiliser products. The new rules will enable a boost in the production and use of phosphate fertilizers with low cadmium content and of organic fertilisers. This in turn will provide a greater choice to farmers focussing on more environmentally friendly agriculture.

CE marking required

According to the regulation, EU fertiliser products bearing CE marking will have to fulfil certain requirements to benefit from free circulation in the EU single market. These include obligatory maximum contaminant and pathogen levels, minimum content of nutrients, the use of defined component material categories and labelling requirements.

Labelling requirements

From a labelling point of view the new regulation will provide strict rules on safety, quality, and labelling requirements for all fertilisers to be traded freely across the EU. Producers will need to demonstrate that their products meet those requirements before being able to apply the CE marking.

Fertiliser manufacturers

Manufacturers of fertilisers that do not bear the CE marking will still have the opportunity of marketing and selling them on their local national market.
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