The Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 applies controls throughout the agri-food supply chain. Defra states its aim is to improve and provide assurance in feed and food safety, animal health and welfare and plant health.
The new rules mean that if you use PPPs or any adjuvants in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), you must register under the Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 by 22 June 2022.
Defra says if the deadline is missed to fill in the form as soon as possible as forms will still be accepted after the deadline. Defra and the Health and Safety Executive have indicated it will not be a priority for them in the short term to enforce the requirement to fill in the form. However, it is a legal obligation to register with Defra and provide the required information, so they encourage all professional pesticide users to do this as soon as possible.
You can now record involvement in assurance schemes
Following successful lobbying by the NFU, Defra has changed the registration form so users can now record their involvement in assurance schemes. This could lead to being able to take into account earned recognition.
Hopefully this will go some way to allaying members’ frustrations about potential duplication of effort.
Complete the form again and re-submit
If you want to provide details of assurance schemes you are part of, but have already filled in the registration form, you can fill the form in again and re-submit it so these details are captured.
As Defra develops its future farming schemes, it will be considering how to best ensure this data is kept up to date, including through existing schemes and farm management software providers, without the need to update this form in the future.
Answering members' questions
We asked Defra for answers to some of our members’ questions.
NFU Vice President David Exwood said: “While Defra's intention appears to have been to keep this simple, farmers on the ground see these new requirements as a burden and understandably have a lot of questions about them. It is good that Defra is starting to respond to these concerns we've already raised with them.”
Subsequently, Defra has issued the following guidance to all interested parties.
MEMBERS: Read Defra's Q&A on OCR