FRANCE: Neonicotinoids – Public Consultation on the 2021 Derogation Draft Order

Following the adoption in mid-December 2020 of the Law No. 2020-1578 establishing a possibility of temporary derogations from the ban on neonicotinoids and other substances having the same mode of action in case of emergency situations for sugar beets (see our previous article), a public consultation on a draft Order setting the derogation conditions for 2021 is launched from 04 to 25 January (consultation page).

The draft Order provides for a 120-day authorisation of two imidacloprid- and thiametoxam-based products for sugar beet seed treatment.

The publication of this draft Order is accompanied by a note of the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) defining the criteria for assessing pest pressure on beets and defining the expected level of emergency for this crop:

  • Aphid populations presence in autumn;
  • Viral presence in autumn;
  • Seasonal weather forecast (initialised on 1st December).

INRAE analysis for 2021 could not rule out a level of risk similar to the previous year. It led the Ministry of Agriculture to anticipate with the preparation and the public consultation of this decree. It is however noted that prior to the release of the Order, an update of weather forecast data may be made to confirm or reject the need for such a derogation.

The Annexes associated with the draft Order detail the conditions of use of the two plant protection products referred to (Annex 1) and the restrictions on crops that may be seeded, planted or re-planted afterwards in treated fields, to limit potential impacts on pollinators (Annex 2).

Accordingly, to protect pollinators, a list of authorised succeeding crops for 2022, 2023 and 2024 is provided. Farmers will also have to limit weed flowering in succeeding crops and to limit intermediate attractive crops.

The conditions of use also stipulates that:

  • adequate seed drilling equipment shall be used “to ensure a high degree of incorporation in soil, minimisation of spillage and minimisation of dust emission”;
  • the farmer shall check that “the treated seeds must be entirely incorporated in the soil” and “ensure that the product is also fully incorporated at the end of rows” and “remove spillages”;
  • treated seeds can only be sown once a year and once every three years in the same field.

These measures were proposed by the Ministry on the basis of the ANSES Opinion of 23 December 2020.


To download (in French): 

Draft Joint Ministerial Order as regards the provisional authorisation of sugarbeet seeds treated with imidacloprid- or thiamethoxam-based plant protection products.

Anses Opinion of 23 december 2020 as regards mitigation measures that shall be included in any derogations from the ban on neonicotinoids and other substances having the same mode of action.

Note from Inrae – Criterion to justify the need for a derogation.


See also our previous articles: 

FRANCE: Ban of Neonicotinoids – A Derogation for Sugar Beets


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