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Fact Sheet: Labelling and packaging of pesticide

This fact sheet explains the most important points in the Ministry of Environment's Statutory Order on pesticides. Please note that only the regulations in the Statutory Order apply, this fact sheet is merely a guide.

What is the scope of the regulations?

The regulations cover all pesticides, including herbicides (weed killers), algaecides, fungicides, insecticides and rat poisons. It also includes plant growth regulators and microbiological agents.

What is the purpose of the regulations?

The regulations are designed to ensure that consumers and others are informed in a systematic and conspicuous way as to which pesticides are harmful, what danger they represent and how they should be handled.

What do the regulations say?

Approval

All pesticides must be approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency prior to sale, import or use. There must be a written application for approval in either Danish or English. Approval is for a limited period of time only.

Classification

In connection with approval, the Danish EPA determines whether or not a pesticide should be designated as being harmful. The Danish EPA classifies harmful pesticides and allocates them one or more warnings.

Labelling

The packaging must have a warning label stating:

1. The pesticide’s trade name.

2. The name and address of whoever has been granted approval.

3. The product’s area of use and registration number, as well as the sentence, "Omfattet af Miljøministeriets bekendtgørelse om bekæmpelsesmidler". ("Covered by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s statutory order on pesticides".)

4. The name and contents of each active substance contained in the product.

5. For microbiological agents: The number of living micro-organisms or the number of internationally recognised units per gram or per litre.

6. The name of all toxic substances with a concentration of more than 0.2 percent of the total weight. The same applies to corrosive chemicals and chemicals that are injurious to health if there is a concentration greater than five percent of the total weight.

7. The product’s net content.

8. The batch factory number or date.

9. Shelf life, if applicable.

10. Designated warnings and warning symbols.

11. Risk level (R-sentences) and safety instructions (S-sentences).

12. First aid guidelines.

13. How to use and store the product. How to dispose of any unused product and its packaging.

14. If relevant, the minimum time period that must elapse between using the product and being able to harvest or use the crops.

15. For toxic pesticides or those harmful to health, the sentence "Emballagen må ikke genanvendes" ("The packaging must not be re-used") must be on the packaging. However, this does not apply if the container is designed to be reused or refilled by the manufacturer or the importer.

16. Instructions for use.

17. If relevant, the minimum time period that must elapse between using the product and being able to sow or plant the protected culture or crop.

18. Undesirable side-effects on plants and damage to neighbouring crops.

19. Toxicity level for bees, marked with the relevant symbol. See bottom of fact sheet.

20. Any other relevant special declarations that aim to protect health or the environment.

The text on the warning label must be in Danish and stand out clearly from the other information on the label. It must be easy to read and indelible. The label’s colour and appearance must ensure that the danger symbol stands out clearly with black print on an orange background. The label must be at least 52 x 74mm. The bigger the container the bigger the label must be. Every warning symbol must cover at least one tenth – and in all cases at least one square centimetre – of the label.

The text on the warning label must be readable horizontally when the container is positioned normally.

Packaging

Requirements for packaging containing pesticides include the following:

Both the packaging and its seal must be constructed so as the contents cannot leak out unintentionally.
The packaging material must be resistant to the contents and must not form dangerous compounds with the contents.
The packaging must be able to withstand the handling it can be reasonably expected to undergo.
The packaging must be sealed. The seal must be broken the first time the packaging is opened.

Some pesticides must be equipped with child-resistant fastenings.

Who is responsible?

Anyone manufacturing or importing pesticides is responsible for ensuring that the regulations are met.

The Danish EPA Chemical Inspection Service supervises the implementation of the regulations and is authorised to issue injunctions and bans. If the regulations are violated this may lead to a fine or up to two years’ imprisonment.

Where can I obtain more information?

The title of the statutory order is:
Ministry of Environment and Energy Statutory Order No. 241 of 27 April 1998 on Pesticides.

The Statutory Order is also available on the Internet address: www.retsinfo.dk , at the library or you can order it at a bookshop in Denmark.