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Introduction into pesticide regulation

Aim of the UK pesticide policy

The principal aim of UK pesticide policy is to protect the health of humans, wildlife and plants and to safeguard the environment.

The Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) is the Government Agency responsible for ensuring the safe use of pesticides for people and the wider environment. It is the CRD, therefore, that approves individual pesticides for particular fields of use such as forestry.

Approval of individual pesticides for fields of use

Applications for approval must show that products pose no unacceptable risk to humans, non-target species or the wider environment, as well as being effective for the purpose they are intended.

The data package submitted by the manufacturer must include details of:

  • Physical and chemical properties
  • Mammalian toxicology
  • Environmental fate and behaviour
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Plant metabolism
  • Residue chemistry
  • Efficacy
  • Information on potential exposure to users and consumers.

If a product is approved, it must carry a label giving the statutory conditions of use and key guidance on minimising risks to operators and the environment.

Training and certification

All those involved in the use, sale or storage of pesticides in forestry situations must be appropriately trained and certificated to ensure that they are aware of the regulatory framework and best practice. Potential users must read and follow the guidance contained on the product label, and should also be aware of the general provisions in the relevant Code of Practice:

 Code of Practice for using Plant Protection Products (England and Wales) (External PDF-3Mb)

 Code of Practice for Use Plant Protection Products (Scotland) (External PDF-2.1Mb)

Further information

More details on the regulatory framework affecting pesticide use can be obtained from