Legislation on fertilisers to be simplified by Commission

The European Commission proposes simplifying the legislation on fertilisers, by consolidating the 18 existing Directives into a single, comprehensible text. This simplification is in accordance with the principles of the White Book on Governance published in July 2001.

The European Commission proposes combining the 18 Directives currently regulating the fertilisers market into a single text, in the form of a proposal for a regulation.

Mr Liikanen, the Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society, declared that this proposal was an example of the importance the Commission attaches to the clarification of Community laws, in order to make them more accessible to citizens and businesses. Technical specifications will be excluded from the text as much as possible, and will be inserted in annexes.

As the proposal for regulation mainly restructures existing laws, no major changes will be required of businesses concerned by the proposal. Austria, Finland and Sweden, which have limits on the level of cadmium in fertilisers, will get an extension of their derogations until 31 December 2004 on this point.


Fertilisers are currently regulated by 18 different directives, whose presentation is complex and disorganised. These Directives mainly focus on removing technical barriers to trade in the fertiliser sector. They specify the characteristics to which fertilisers must conform, including their composition, labelling and packaging.

On 25 July, the European Commission published a White Paper on European Governance. It contains a set of recommendations on how to enhance democracy in Europe and increase the legitimacy of the institutions. Among other things, it advocates more transparent and understandable legislation.


The Commission will soon carry out an Internet consultation on the proposal. Its decision is due to be taken in the first half of 2002.



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