The aim of this page is to clarify how pesticides legislation applies to the sale of twin packs and kits, and the provision of mixing services.
Under regulation 4 of the Regulations, it is an offence to advertise, sell, supply, store or use an unapproved pesticide.
Sale of Twin Packs and Kits.
Providing Mixing Instructions for Twin Packs/Kits/Multipacks.
Twin Packs and Kits Requiring Approval.
Sale of Twin Packs and Kits
In some circumstances, the sale of pesticide products together, or of a pesticide with an adjuvant or other additive, will create a new product and such a combination, as in a kit or twin pack, would then require a new, entirely separate registration/approval.
A new approval would certainly be required where a kit or twin pack is marketed with a new name (see paragraph 6 below). An approval should also be obtained where specific instructions are provided for the twin pack/kit as a whole, in addition to those already given for the individual components. It is not possible to describe all the possible different situations where new registration is required, and if there is any doubt the regulatory authority (CRD) should be consulted.
It is permissible for suppliers to pack a pesticide with another product (e.g. another approved pesticide product or an adjuvant included on the Official List of adjuvants) in the same outer packaging for the specific purpose of transporting them to the purchaser once the sale of individual approved products has been completed. Under these circumstances it is also acceptable to mark the outer packaging in some way so as to identify them, e.g. by using a reference number or letter. However, these packs must not be identified as a single product.
Paragraph 3 to Schedule 2 of the Regulations states that:
"No person shall sell, supply or otherwise market to the end-user an approved pesticide other than in the container which has been supplied for that purpose by the holder of the approval of that pesticide and labelled in a manner consistent with the approval."
The packaging of a twin pack with an identified name, without specific approval, would breach this requirement.
Providing Mixing Instructions for Twin Packs/Kits/Multipacks
The requirements of paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 – ‘Conditions Relating to the Consent to the Use of Pesticides’ contained in the Regulations must be adhered to. This states that two or more pesticide products may only be mixed together if all of the conditions of approval given in relation to each product, in addition to the label instructions on the containers in which each product has been supplied, can be complied with.
The supplier may provide general instructions for mixing the products they sell individually. Care should be taken before instructing that a particular named pesticide product can be mixed with another named product to ensure that this does not contravene the conditions of the approvals granted to the individually approved product(s).
An additional specific provision of paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 of the Regulations states that no two (or more) products which are anticholinesterase compounds should be mixed together unless such a mixture is expressly permitted in the conditions of approval of at least one of the products.
Twin Packs and Kits Requiring Approval
Where it is intended to obtain specific approval for a twin pack/kit, this will require a new product name and, if approval is granted, will be allocated a unique Ministerially Approved Pesticide Product (MAPP) number. If the components are intended to be mixed together for use, the new product label must explain this and give full safety information and directions for use of the mixture. The use of the two components together (as directed on the label) must be fully considered for safety (risks to consumers, operators, wildlife and the environment) and efficacy (effectiveness and crop safety).
Where components of an approved kit or twin pack are packaged separately within one outer carton, it will be necessary to ensure adequate labelling on each pack. This should identify the components and include relevant classifications and other safety / precautionary information on handling the individual components. It should also be noted that claims and recommendations made on current product labels for the individual components may be inappropriate to the new approved kit product. The outer carton label must include safety information for the new product as a whole, with directions and claims for the use of the two components when mixed together.
Details on the procedure for making an application for approval of a new product can be found in The Registration Handbook.
If two or more previously approved pesticides are mixed together and then sold, the mixture effectively constitutes a new product which requires it own approval. This also applies when a previously approved pesticide(s) is/are mixed with a marker, adjuvant, or other additive before sale. It is therefore illegal to carry out such mixing as a service to customers before sale.
However, it is not an offence to sell approved pesticides, markers and adjuvants separately, and then, after sale, carry out an additional service of mixing these products to the user’s requirements, on their behalf, in readiness for direct use. This should only be undertaken if the mixing of the products would not contravene the conditions of approval of any of the individual products, and provided all requirements of these approvals and the label instructions on each individual product container are complied with (see paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 above). It should be clear, if a check were to be made at the premises of the person providing the mixing service, that products are being sold separately and only mixed on request after sale.
It is recommended that only sufficient mixture be prepared for the day’s use. However, it is acknowledged that there may be unforeseen circumstances that make it necessary to retain material for use in the next few days. In these cases, a new safety assessment would need to be made with respect to labelling and safe storage to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, no unacceptable risks have been created.
Pesticides are hazardous substances. Unlabelled mixtures left in insecure store for extended periods of time are a potential risk to users, operators, storekeepers, bystanders, the environment etc. They are more likely to be regarded as unapproved formulations than if used at the earliest opportunity and any material excess disposed of safely.
It must be possible to show that each individual component has already been sold. It is not possible to give a definitive list of the variety of ways in which a sale has taken place. If retailers/distributors are in any doubt on this issue they should consult their local Trading Standards department or take legal advice.
In all cases, in addition to the provisions of pesticides legislation, the appropriate provisions of: the Health and Safety at Work Act and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) guidelines must be adhered to when supplying and using the mixed product. Advice on carrying out COSHH assessments can be found in Section 3 of Part 2 of the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products or alternatively advice may be obtained from the local HSE office.
Where the supplier carries out a mixing service on behalf of the user, the requirements of section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act apply to the supplier regarding both the separate component products and the mixed end product, each of them being substances for use at work. The supplier will also have duties to his/her own employees engaged in the provision of the mixing service, as will the end user with regard to the use (application) of the mixed product.
Further information regarding the provision of mixing services and the sale of twin packs and kits can be obtained from by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing.