Understanding the REACH regulation Fertiliser

February 8, 2023

What you need to know about REACH Fertiliser

On July 16, 2022, the Fertiliser Products Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 entered into force. Its application canceled the effect of Regulation 2003/2003/EC, aimed at regulating mineral fertilisers composed of one or more plant nutrients, within the European Union (EU). In addition, it amends regulations (EC) No 1069/2009 and (EC) No 1107/2009.

The regulation 2003/2003/EC extended to fertilisers placed on the market with the mention "EC fertiliser". The word fertiliser is defined as a "material whose main function is to provide nutrients to plants".

Thus, Regulation 2019/1009 establishes the rules for the placing on the market and use of fertiliser products within the EU. The term "fertiliser products" is used for all substances and mixtures used to improve soil fertility and plant nutrition. It includes organic and inorganic fertilisers and biostimulants.

The base of Annex I containing the types of fertilisers according to their specific characteristics, has been updated on February 06, 2023, and contains the following 7 substances (inorganic fertilizers with minimum trace elements content):

  • Boron (B)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Zinc (Zn)

The objective of this regulation is to guarantee the safety, quality and efficiency of these products while fostering the circular economy and promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly fertilisation practices.


The scope of the REACH regulation Fertiliser

The Regulation does not apply to animal by-products or derived products which are subject to the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 when they are made available on the market and to plant protection products falling within the scope of Regulation No 1107/2009.

Apart from these exceptions, Regulation 2019/1009 applies to all fertiliser products placed on the market in the European Union (including products imported from a third country).


The impacts of the REACH fertiliser regulation

This regulation obliges fertiliser users in the EU to register under REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) the ingredients of fertiliser products, if they belong to one of the Component Material Categories (CMC) 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 11.

The categories of component materials are as follows:

  • CMC 1 : Substances and mixtures based on virgin materials
  • CMC 2 : Plants, parts of plants or extracts of plants
  • CMC 3 : Compost
  • CMC 4 : Digestate from vegetable crops
  • CMC 5 : Digestate other than from vegetable crops
  • CMC 6 : By-products of the food industry
  • CMC 7 : Micro-organisms
  • CMC 8 : Nutrient polymers
  • CMC 9 : Polymers other than nutrient polymers
  • CMC 10 : Derivatives within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009
  • CMC 11 : By-products within the meaning of Directive 2008/98/EC

Contrary to the EU REACH regulation, the REACH fertiliser regulation applies to any quantity, also below 1 ton/year.

Manufacturers and importers affected by the REACH fertiliser regulation are subject to conformity assessment procedures on behalf of REACH. Some of these procedures require the intervention of a notified organisation, meeting a number of criteria.

  • Check the classification of the fertiliser product
  • Conduct a conformity assessment
  • Submit a market authorisation file
  • Label the fertiliser product
  • Maintain records

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