After three years of negotiations among the European institutions, the new Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR) (EU) 2019/1009 was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 25 June 2019. It is available in all official EU languages. The European Union thus becomes the first governing body in the world to recognize plant biostimulants as a distinct category of agricultural inputs.
EBIC president Luca Bonini (CEO, Italpollina) said, “The recognition of plant biostimulants in European law is an important milestone towards more sustainable agriculture. Farmers across Europe will now have equal access to important new tools to help them grow high quality food despite increasingly volatile conditions and more stringent consumer demands. But our work is not done. There are still many challenges before biostimulants will be enabled to make their full contribution to more resilient agriculture and the industry can fulfil its growth potential.”
The FPR will enter into force on 15 July 2019. That means it will officially become law on that day. One immediate effect entails the definition of a plant protection product, which will explicitly exclude plant biostimulants from that date.
The full application of the regulation (i.e. when the first EC-marked fertilising products, including biostimulants, can be placed on the Union market) will be on 16 July 2022.
All the implementation measures (e.g. defining ABP end points, criteria for industrial by-products, etc.) will be addressed in the meantime.
EBIC will continue to work with its members, European authorities, and stakeholders on interpretation, implementation and improvements to the new regulation.