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Study on options to fully harmonise EU legislation on fertilising materials including technical feasibility, environmental, social, economic impacts

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Frist:
Frist: 31/05/2011

Objective of the consultation<br/>The Commission has commissioned work to collect information on the existing national regulations covering the fertiliser categories and how they are placed on national markets. The survey aims also at collecting information on economic indicators relating to the manufacture of fertilisers.<br/>

Background information

Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003 relating to fertilisers was adopted 8 years ago in line with the SLIM Initiative (Simpler Legislation for the Internal Market) to simplify the legal framework on fertilisers while reducing existing trade barriers and potential risks for public safety from the use of certain categories of fertilisers.

The current Fertilisers Regulation covers only a part of the mineral fertilisers that are sold in the European Union. The other types of fertilisers and fertilising materials are covered by national legislations.

Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 on mutual recognition was expected to solve some of the difficulties faced by the fertiliser industry regarding the trade of national fertilisers. However, some manufacturers and a majority of Member States have expressed concerns with regard to the application of the mutual recognition principle to fertilisers as it could lead to possible distortion of the market - local producers complying with more stringent national rules might not be able to compete with producers applying less strict national rules. This situation may also have a negative impact on the environment and public health. Administrative burden might additionally go up with the increasing number of requests for mutual recognition.

In addition, materials of waste origin are increasingly used to produce fertilisers. This calls for an extension of the harmonised system to all fertilisers: organic and mineral fertilisers, growing media, soil improvers and possibly bio-stimulants.

A recently published ex-post evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003 confirmed the need to extent the scope of the current legislation to the categories of fertilisers mentioned above.

See: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/chemicals/files/fertilizers/final_report_2010_en.pdf

How to submit your contribution

The Commission invites all the actors of the fertiliser supply chain and all interested stakeholders to participate in the revision of the Fertiliser Regulation by responding to the on-line questionnaire which is available here: http://www.fertiliserregulationstudy.com

The confidentiality of your responses and statements is guaranteed in the sense that your organisation will be identified as having responded to the survey but none of your statements included in the study report will be related to their author. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Results of consultation and next steps

The outcomes of the study will serve as a basis for the preparation of an impact assessment report (IAR) on options to harmonise the EU fertiliser market. The selected options will be assessed in terms of their achievement of the objectives (guarantee the safety of products and agronomic efficacy and reduce administrative burden for authorities and industry). This IAR will accompany a draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to fertilisers.

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