FRANCE: Action plan for plant protection products

The French action plan on plant protection products and on a less pesticide-dependent agriculture was presented on 25 April 2018. It incorporates the proposals of the stakeholders consulted since last February, 15th.

This action plan is structured around four priorities:


  • Rapidly reduce the use of substances of greatest health and environmental concerns


In this context, France will ask the European Commission to put an end as soon as possible to the approval of substances that are subject to cut-off criteria under the EU regulation: carcinogens category 1, mutagens category 1 or toxic for the reproduction category 1, or endocrine disruptors for humans or the environment, persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances, or very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances. France will systematically oppose the extension and renewal of these substances.

France will also ask ANSES to start as early as 2018 a scientific review of the substances of greatest concern for health and the environment mentioned by the CGAAER-IGAS-CGEDD mission and whose European approval expires after 2018.

The plan provides for a separation of distribution and advising activities and a revision of the tax for diffuse pollution (RPPD) to encourage incentives to reduce the use of PPPs and help financially for the transitions.


  • Better know the impacts to better inform, protect the population and the professionals and preserve the environment



  • Amplify the research and development of alternatives and the implementation of these solutions by farmers


France will notably strengthen its support for the development of biocontrol by supporting the innovation of very small, small and medium-sized companies by mobilising the major investment plan and improving the approval process for biocontrol products (in particular by shortening timelines) and to propose at European level the recognition of biocontrol products in the context of the revision of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.

France will also support farmers towards the ban of glyphosate and the reduction of plant protection products within 3 years.


  • Strengthen the Ecophyto 2 plan, improve its governance and functioning



The Action Plan is accompanied by a timetable and a method of implementation:

  • Several working groups are set up in order to implement certain actions of the plan
  • Two referrals of scientific organisms have already been made, including one to ANSES:
    • development of specifications to launch an experimental study on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate

and 3 new referrals will be sent to ANSES in one month:

  • establishment of a list of the substances of greatest concern with regard to the risks they may pose to public health or the environment, in particular carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins and endocrine disruptors which will still be approved after 2018;
  • identification of the substances of concern for which the Government will intervene with the European Commission so that they can be included as soon as possible in the list of substances candidates  for substitution;
  • proposals to strengthen existing regulations on pollinators, taking into account the safety of operators.

The Ecophyto 2 plan will be adapted to integrate the priorities of this action plan. The Ecophyto 2+ plan will be submitted for public consultation in July 2018.


To download:

Plan d’actions sur les produits phytopharmaceutiques et une agriculture moins dépendante aux pesticides (in French)

Mise en oeuvre du plan d’actions – Calendrier et méthode (in French)


See also our previous articles:

FRANCE: 18 actives on the hot seat: new action plan to reduce the use of PPPs


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FRANCE: Guidance on extensions for minor uses (Article 51)

The French procedure for the authorisation of minor uses under Article 51 of  Regulation (EC) No.1107/2009 was published in the Official Bulletin of the Ministry of Agriculture on 27 April 2018 as a Note of information.

Article 51 of  Regulation (EC) No.1107/2009 sets that not only the authorisation holder but also official or scientific bodies involved in agricultural activities, professional agricultural organisations or professional users may ask for the authorisation of a plant protection product already authorised in the Member State concerned to be extended to minor uses not yet covered by that authorisation. The corresponding extensions of authorisation shall  be granted provided that they are in the public interest and that they do not present harmful effects to human or animal health or inacceptable effects on the environment.

The intended extension is in the public interest when it fulfills at least one of the following criteria:

  • it is intended to fill gaps of uses  with no or few alternatives
  • it is a low risk product (Art. 47 of Reg. 1107/2009)
  • it is a biocontrol plant protection product (list set in accordance with Article L 253-5 of French Rural Code)
  • it is a protective measure against categories 1 and 2 phytosanitary dangers (French Decree of 15 December 2014 concerning the list of categories 1 and 2 phytosanitary dangers for plant species)

The content of the application dossier is set by the French Decree of 30 June 2017 and is to be sent to Anses.

The application goes through Anses scientific evaluation. When possible the request is to be identified as part of the inventory tasks for technical gaps performed by the Commission of orphan uses (‘Commission des usages orphelins’ or ‘CUO’). This is a Commission of consultation and expertise of the Ministry of Agriculture constituted by representatives of stakeholders and ANSES. Efficacy and crop safety data are not mandatory for such applications. The ‘public interest’ status is evaluated by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In order to fasten the evaluation process, the data used to demonstrate that the application fulfills the eligibility criteria of Article 51 procedure can be transmitted to the CUO secretariat prior to the application to ANSES.

When the extension of authorisation is granted, the administrative decision is sent to the authorisation holder and, if different, to the applicant. The minor use extension shall be separately identified on the product label if the authorisation holder accepts to revise it. In any case, information regarding the specific conditions of uses of the product for this extension is available for users in the Anses List of marketing authorisation decisions and on E-Phy website.

To download: Note de service DGAL/SDQSPV/2018-344 (in French)

Lynxee consulting’s team is at your disposal if you need support for your applications

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EUROPE: Neonicotinoids ban for outdoor uses

In February 2018, EFSA published updated scientific assessments that confirmed the risks to bees posed by the neonicotinoid active substances imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam used as seed treatment or granules. EFSA presented the reports to risk managers from the European Commission and Member States in March 2018.

On 27 April 2018, Member States’ representatives in a Standing Committee have backed the Commission’s proposal to further restrict the use of these three neonicotinoids. The agreed restrictions go beyond the measures already implemented since 2013 (see Regulation (EU) No 485/2013). All outdoor uses will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected.

The Regulation will now be adopted by the European Commission in the coming weeks and become applicable by the end of the year.

In France, Anses published in March 2018 its second progress report on the alternatives to the use of plant protection preparations containing neonicotinoids, for which the final report will be published in the second quarter of 2018. In this second progress report, alternatives for uses on grapevines, industrial and fodder beets, straw cereals, maize and lettuce were identified, and risk indicators applied to them. Concerning the impact of neonicotinoids on human health, no harmful effects were identified for uses complying with the current marketing authorisations. However, with regard to thiacloprid, given the hazard characteristics of this substance and the significant increase in its use, the Agency recommends minimising its uses.

To learn more:

European Commission: Neonicotinoids

Neonicotinoids: ANSES publishes its second progress report

See also our previous articles:

EUROPE: EFSA update the neonicotinoids risk assessments for bees: risk confirmed

FRANCE: ANSES recommends strengthening the conditions of use of Neonicotinoids

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EUROPE: Publication of Endocrine disruptors criteria

On 20 April 2018 was published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/605 setting out the scientific criteria to identify the substances used in plant protection which are endocrine disruptors (EDs).

After the rejection of the initial regulation project by the European Parliament in October 2017, the new project taking into consideration the claims of the European Parliament (i.e. the deletion of the exemption for substances that have an ‘intended endocrine mode of action’), was voted at the PAFF meeting in December 2017.

According to the Regulation, an active substance, safener or synergist is considered as ED if (i) it shows an adverse effect in an intact organism or its progeny, (ii) it alters the function(s) of the endocrine system, and (iii) the adverse effect is a consequence of the endocrine mode of action.

The new criteria will apply from 20 October 2018 onwards, including the substances for which an assessment or a re-evaluation is ongoing. A feedback regarding the experience gained from the application of these criteria will be presented by the Commission by 20 October 2025.

As a reminder, very similar criteria will apply to biocide substances from 7 June 2018. The European Union is now the first worldwide to have strict legally binding criteria to identify EDs.

Besides, the draft technical guidance document for identifying EDs of ECHA and EFSA is currently being updated with the new criteria set. The guidance document will be available by June 2018.


To download: Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/605 of 19 April 2018 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties.


See also our previous articles:

EUROPE: Public consultation on draft guidance for identifying endocrine disruptors

EUROPE: Parliament rejects criteria for endocrine disruptors

Adoption of Endocrine disruptors criteria


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UK: Final commenting phase on the guidance on physico-chemical data

In 2015, a guidance document on the physical, chemical and technical data required to support the registration/authorisation of plant protection products under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 was published on the HSE website. This National guidance has since been through commenting phases with other EU Member States, EFSA, Industry and wider Stakeholders in order to become an EU harmonised guidance document.

The updated harmonised version reviewed by CRD further to the consultation processes is now available for final comments. The final commenting phase will be completed by 14 May 2018.

Version for commenting:  Guidance document for the generation of data on the physical, chemical and technical properties of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009.

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FRANCE: Update of the official list of biocontrol products – March 2018

The French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has published a new update of the official list of biocontrol plant protection products in accordance with articles L.253-5 and L.253-7 of the Rural Code. This note repeals the previous one dated 24 January 2018 and entered into force on 15 March 2018.

This note includes a total of 8 new products: 3 in Part A (products containing microorganisms), 4 in Part C (products containing natural substances of plant, animal or mineral origin) and 1 in part D. Part B (products including semiochemicals) remains unchanged.

The next update will be issued in May 2018 on the basis of products authorised on 30 April 2018.


To download: Note DGAL/SDQSPV/2018-205 du 15/03/2018 (in French)


See also our previous articles:

FRANCE: Release of a memo relative to biocontrol products

FRANCE: Update of the official list of biocontrol products – January 2018


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FRANCE: Publication of the 2018 national memo for the management of resistance to fungicides used against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in oilseed rape

This note, written by a working group composed of experts from the French organisations ANSES, INRA and Terres Inovia, analyses the evolution of the resistance of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum to the main chemical families currently authorised for this use and formulates recommendations to limit the risks of resistance development and to maintain the effectiveness of the available solutions.


To download: Note commune 2018 ANSES, INRA et Terres Inovia pour la gestion durable de la résistance aux fongicides utilisés contre la sclérotiniose du colza (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) (in French)


See also our previous articles:

FRANCE: 2018 National memos on the sustainable management of resistance to fungicides


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