FVO report – Italy – Plant protection products control system flawed

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in Italy, carried out between 26 January and 4 February 2015, under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official food and feed controls and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the system of official controls on the marketing and use of plant protection products under Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and Directive 2009/128/EC.

The risk criteria on which operators are selected for controls have resulted in the exclusion of some categories of large scale operators from the scope of controls. Furthermore, the system of controls is hampered by the lack of co-operation and co-ordination between the multiple Competent Authorities involved and by inspectors’ lack of expertise in conducting controls relating to plant protection products. Consequently, the control system on the marketing and use of plant protection products is considered to be weak.

These shortcomings, combined with weaknesses in the programme to verify that the formulation of the product placed on the market complies with the conditions of the authorisation/parallel trade permit, means that the system for detection of illegal and/or counterfeit plant protection products is not effective. There are no official controls to ensure the restrictions related to the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments are implemented. While most recommendations from the previous audit on pesticides have been satisfactorily addressed, two recommendations, relating to formulation analysis and the effectiveness of controls on product labels and records of use, have not been addressed satisfactorily.

Aerial spraying is confined to very localised areas, and only following approval by the Competent Authority for this activity in line with Directive 2009/128/EC. In addition, systems are in place to facilitate growers in the implementation of Integrated Pest Management.

The FVO issued 9 recommendations to Italy and here you can find the answers of the Competent Authority involved.

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