Legislation changes from 26th November 2020
As part of the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012, pesticide application equipment (PAE) testing became a legal requirement from 26th November 2016. Any machine applying a professional pesticide must be tested by the specified dates and intervals thereafter.
For all new PAE, the first test is due before the machine is 5 years old. From 26th November 2020, boom sprayers over 3 metres, air blast sprayers, and train and aircraft sprayers must have been tested within the last 3 years. This means any sprayer tested after 26th November 2017 must be tested every 3 years.
Boom sprayers 3 metres and under, micro-granular and slug pellet applicators, weed wipers, seed treatment and other specialist application equipment are due a re-test every 6 years.
There are no changes to crop assurance scheme requirements, so boom sprayers, micro-granular nematicide applicators and fogging machines must be tested annually.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures must always be considered before any pesticide applications are made.
The requirements have been put in place to help ensure safe and accurate application of pesticides. Along with qualified operators, when pesticides need to be used they can be applied in a safe and sustainable way.
The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) requires that all pesticide application equipment (PAE) is tested on a regular basis.*
The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012 states that all types of PAE must be tested to certain timescales depending on the age of the machine and further information can be found here on the frequency of testing required. The legislation relates to all sectors, agriculture, horticulture, amenity and fruit but for anyone applying a professional pesticide, the equipment must be tested. Application equipment that does not require an NSTS test are knapsacks, handheld and pedestrian equipment. These need to be inspected by a competent person, repairs made as required and a record kept. For knapsack sprayers a checklist is available here to use and record the results.
* The legal requirements are contained in the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012