EU ambassadors have endorsed a deal with the European Parliament on new rules for placing fertilising products on the EU market.
The regulation harmonises standards for fertilisers produced from organic or secondary raw materials in the EU, opening up new possibilities for their production on a large scale. In addition, it sets harmonised limits for a range of contaminants contained in mineral fertilisers.
The new regulation will bring on the market a wide variety of innovative and more environment-friendly fertilisers. Manufacturers, farmers, but also consumers of agricultural products stand to gain from the expected growth in agricultural productivity as well as from cleaner soils.
According to the draft regulation, EU fertilising products bearing the "CE marking" will have to fulfil certain requirements to benefit from free circulation in the EU's internal market. These requirements will include obligatory maximum contaminant levels, the use of defined component material categories and labelling requirements.
Manufacturers of fertilisers that do not bear the CE marking will still have the possibility of placing them on their national market.
The new regulation, which will replace the current 2003 fertilisers regulation, covers all types of fertilisers (mineral, organic, soil improvers, growing matters, etc.).
It will start applying three years from its entry into force.
The draft regulation will have to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. It will enter into force on the twentieth day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
Fertilising products are used in agriculture to improve plant growth.
The Commission presented its proposal in March 2016 as part of the EU's circular economy action plan. One of its main objectives is to encourage large scale fertiliser production from domestic organic or secondary raw materials in line with the circular economy model, by transforming waste into nutrients for crops.