New EU rules on fertilisers: low-cadmium label

Yesterday, Member States representatives endorsed the EU institutions' political agreement on new EU rules on fertilisers proposed by the Commission in 2016.

The agreement, which is a key deliverable of the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, will facilitate the access of organic and waste-based fertilisers to the EU Single Market and introduce limits for certain toxic contaminants in fertilisers, including cadmiumThe new rules will help to reduce waste, energy consumption and environmental damage as well as limit the risks to human health. 

Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Unlike traditional fertilisers which are highly energy intensive and rely on scarce natural resources, bio-waste fertilisers have the potential to make farming more sustainable. These new rules will also help to create a new market for reused raw materials in line with our efforts to build a circular economy in Europe." 

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, added: "The new EU rules will open up new market opportunities for innovative companies producing organic fertilisers and create new local jobs, provide wider choice for our farmers and protect our soils and food. At the same time we are also making sure that our European industry will be able to adapt to the proposed changes."  

While the new rules will open the Single Market to organic fertilisers, the regulation offers manufacturers the option of partial harmonisation, allowing them to opt for compliance with national standards before selling their products on the EU market. The Regulation also for the first time introduces limits for toxic contaminants, including a new 60 mg/kg limit for cadmium which will be further reviewed 4 years after the date of application. The new rules are now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council. The Regulation will then be directly applicable in all Member States and will become mandatory in 2022. A press release is available online.


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