Those who use, or cause or permit others to apply, plant protection products or who store and/or dispose of products are subject to a number of legal requirements.


  • Anyone who applies pesticides as part of their professional activities must (including those previously operating under grandfather rights) hold a recognised specified training certificate .
  • All those purchasing professional plant protection products must reasonably believe that products are used by someone holding a specified certificate.
  • Distributors must ensure they have sufficient staff available at the point of sale to advise customers on the use and risks arising from the use of plant protection products and how they can be managed.
  • All application equipment, except knapsacks and hand-held, must from November 2016 possess a certificate demonstrating that it has passed an officially recognised test conducted by the National Sprayer Testing Scheme . Equipment has to be tested on either a three, five or six yearly basis thereafter depending on when the most recent test was conducted and the type of equipment (details are available in the National Action Plan ). All equipment must be calibrated on a regular basis.
  • Aerial spraying of plant protection products must be done in accordance with a permit obtained from HSE.
  • Users, or those who cause or permit use, must ensure that: all reasonable precautions are taken to protect human health and the environment; applications are confined to target areas; and in certain areas (including public spaces and conservation areas) that the amount used and frequency of use is as low as reasonably practicable.
  • Priority is given to particular products where there are risks to water quality.
  • Professional users and distributors take all reasonable precautions to ensure handling, storage and disposal operations do not endanger human health or the environment.
  • Storage areas are constructed in such a way as to prevent unwanted releases of products

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