Pesticides: code of practice for using plant protection products in Scotland

The code is aimed at all professional users of plant protection products (pesticides) in Scotland.

Annex A: laws referred to in this code

1 This code reflects the following laws and sets out the best practice to make sure you meet your legal obligations. If the law listed applies only to certain parts of the United Kingdom, there is likely to be a similar law applying elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In general, laws relating to human health and safety are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, and environmental law is enforced by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Scotland.

2 Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA)

Part III of FEPA aims to:

  • protect the health of people, creatures and plants
  • protect the environment
  • establish safe, effective and humane methods of controlling pests

This act also sets out arrangements for enforcing its requirements and aims to make information about pesticides available to the public.

Part III of FEPA applies to:

  • any pesticide
  • any substance, preparation or organism that is prepared or used for the purpose of:
    • protecting plants, wood or other plant products from harmful organisms
    • regulating the growth of plants
    • controlling against harmful creatures
    • controlling organisms with harmful or unwanted effects on water systems (including sewage treatment works), buildings or other structures, or on manufactured products
    • protecting animals against parasites

3 Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (as amended) (COPR)

These regulations, made under FEPA, specify that:

  • all pesticide products must be approved by Ministers
  • pesticides can only be sold, supplied, stored, advertised or used in line with the regulations

Under COPR, anyone who uses pesticides in the course of their work must have received training in using them in a safe, efficient and humane way and have the knowledge, skills and experience needed for the duties they will perform. Also, any person who uses a pesticide must use it only on the land, crop, structure, material or other area being treated.

4 Plant Protection Products (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (PPPR) and Plant Protection Products (Basic Conditions) Regulations 1997

PPPR continues to implement, in Scotland, European Council Directive 91/414/ EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. The Directive aims to make the approval of plant protection products consistent throughout the European Union. The Basic Conditions Regulations define the conditions for selling, supplying, storing, advertising and using pesticides approved under PPPR (and are essentially the same as for pesticide products approved under COPR). These regulations, made under the European Council Directive, apply to new active substances and to older actives once they have been reviewed in the European Union.

5 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA)

This act gives people the following obligations:

  • employers must protect (as far as is reasonably possible) the health, safety and welfare of their employees while at work. This includes providing the necessary information, training, supervision and protective equipment to carry out any job safely, and to protect employees and others
  • employees and the self-employed must take reasonable care of their own health and the safety of others. this includes wearing suitable protective equipment
  • suppliers must make sure that substances are safe and do not put health at risk when they are being used, handled, stored or transported. Suppliers must provide information about risks and how the substances can be safely used and disposed of

6 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

Under the COSHH regulations there is a legal duty to:

  • assess the risks to health when working with substances which are dangerous to people's health (which includes many pesticides)
  • eliminate or, if this is not reasonably possible, adequately control exposure to these substances

7 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations, which bring the European Health and Safety Framework Directive into force in the UK:

  • give employers general obligations to improve health and safety management
  • explain what employers and employees must do under the Health and Safety at Work Act

8 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

These regulations:

  • set out the principles for choosing, providing, maintaining and using personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • order that PPE is suitable for both the person using it and the risks it protects against

These regulations do not replace specific laws dealing with providing appropriate PPE in certain situations.

9 Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 is the principal legislative mechanism which protects wildlife and habitats in Scotland. It replaces the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) provisions in the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 and amends the wildlife protection provisions in Part I of the 1981 Act. The 2004 Act introduces significantly enhanced penalties for intentional or reckless damage to SSSIs, including damage by third parties. Such damage includes acts which cause the protected features on a site to deteriorate. The Act also introduces a specific offence of possessing certain pesticides without lawful excuse. The 2004 Act should be read in conjunction with the Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994, which provide specific protection to sites and species of European importance, and Part I of the 1981 Act. Between them these instruments implement the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the 'Bern Convention') and the European Union Directives on the Conservation of Wild Birds (79/409/EEC) and Natural Habitats and Wild Fauna and Flora (92/43/EEC).

10 Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003, which transposes the Water Framework Directive (2000) into Scottish law, sets out arrangements for the protection of the water environment. The act requires the Scottish Executive to introduce controls on all human impacts on the water environment - including point source pollution, pollution from diffuse sources, abstractions and engineering works in the vicinity of the water environment.

11 The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (CAR)

These regulations are made under section 20 of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003. CAR will be the major measure in Scotland for achieving the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive. The regulations charge the Scottish Environment Protection Agency with authorising activities which pose a risk to the water environment in Scotland, and with striking a balance between environmental protection and the continued sustainable use of the water environment by operators who are dependent on this resource for their economic viability. The activities which will be controlled by the regulations include impoundments, abstractions, engineering in the water environment, discharges and diffuse pollution. CAR has superseded in Scotland the Groundwater Regulations 1998 and similarly provides for the protection of groundwater in line with the Groundwater Directive (80/68/EEC) by controlling the disposal of certain substances, including all pesticides.

12 Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006

These regulations which implement EC Regulation No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs are designed to make sure that there is a high level of protection in food production from the farmer or grower to the consumer ('from farm gate to plate'). The regulations say that risks from food should be identified and controlled and that food and food ingredients should be able to be traced along the food chain to make sure that food is safe.

The regulations came into force on 11 January 2006 and say that people who produce or harvest plant products must keep records of any plant protection products and biocides used.

13 Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 2005

These regulations which implement EC Regulation No. 183/2005 on the hygiene of feed, are designed to make sure that in the production of animal feed, there is a high level of protection from the farmer or grower to the consumer ('from farm gate to plate'). The regulations say that risks from food should be identified and controlled and that feed and feed ingredients should be able to be traced along the food chain to make sure that all feed and foodstuffs are safe.

The regulations came into force on 1 January 2006 and say that people who produce or harvest plant products for feed to livestock must keep records of any plant protection products and biocides used.

Other laws

Although not an obligation under FEPA, this code also provides advice on good practice for transporting and disposing of pesticides.

14 Carriage of Dangerous Goods and use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 (as amended)

These regulations place conditions on those who carry dangerous goods by road or rail (or who use transportable pressure containers). The conditions relate to vehicle design and construction, vehicle markings, transport documents, the type of goods transported, packaging, labelling, training and providing information.

15 Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 (CHIP)

These regulations set out the conditions for classifying and labelling dangerous substances on the basis of their hazardous properties.

The labelling necessary to reflect the hazard classification includes:

  • hazard symbols
  • standard risk phrases (R-phrases)
  • standard safety phrases (S-phrases)

Manufacturers, importers and other suppliers are responsible for classifying and labelling dangerous substances.

16 Clean Air Act 1993

This act applies to pollution by smoke, grit and dust from fires and commercial and industrial processes that are not covered by other laws.

17 Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora 92/43/ EEC ('Habitats Directive')

Under this directive, which is how the EC meets its obligations under the Bern Convention, member states must protect natural habitats and important wild species. Member states must:

  • protect the habitats and species listed in the annexes to the directive
  • monitor and report on habitats and species
  • propose, prepare and maintain national sites to form a European network of protected sites (Natura 2000 sites)
  • control development and other projects which may affect these sites

18 Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994 ('Habitats Regulations')

These regulations bring into force the obligations of the 'Habitats Directive' in Great Britain, setting out the procedure for:

  • choosing conservation sites
  • assessing and reporting on habitats and species in conservation sites
  • assessing and controlling projects affecting natura 2000 sites

19 Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

This act establishes the right of responsible access to land and inland water in Scotland for recreation and passage, and places duties in relation to that access.

20 Environment Act 1995

This act created Environment Agencies and introduced arrangements for:

  • cleaning up contaminated land
  • protecting water
  • managing air qualit
  • reducing packaging waste

Under this act, the Environment Agencies have powers to give polluters (or potential polluters) notice to carry out work to clean up or prevent pollution. Discharges to controlled waters require a consent from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. SEPA may carry out anti-pollution work if they think that controlled waters have been (or are likely to be) polluted, and then recover costs from the polluters.

21 Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended)

Under this act, it is an offence to treat, keep or dispose of 'controlled waste' in a way likely to pollute the environment or harm people. It is also an offence to keep, treat or dispose of 'controlled waste' without a waste-management licence, unless the activity in question is 'exempt' under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994. Under the act, people who produce waste must make sure that it is passed only to an authorised person who can transport, recycle or dispose of it safely.

22 Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991

These regulations describe the actions which anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats, recycles or disposes of 'controlled waste' must take. These people must:

  • store the waste safely so that it does not cause pollution or harm anyone
  • transfer it only to someone who is authorised to take it (such as someone who holds a waste-management licence or is a registered waste carrier)
  • when passing it on to someone else, provide a written description of the waste and fill in a waste transfer note. These records must be kept for two years and a copy must be provided to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency if they ask for one

23 Hazardous Waste Directive (HWD) (91/689/ EEC) and the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) (200/532/ EC)

This directive aims to provide a precise definition of 'hazardous waste' (known as 'special' waste in Scotland and sets out a framework for correctly managing and regulating the waste. Hazardous waste is any waste on a list drawn up by the European Commission, or waste which has one or more of the hazardous properties set out in the HWD (for example, being explosive, toxic, oxidising, flammable or an irritant).

24 Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (HSCER)

Under these regulations, any employees not in groups covered by safety representatives from the trade union must be consulted by their employers, either directly or through elected representatives. elected representatives can:

  • talk to employers about concerns on possible risks and dangerous events in the workplace
  • talk to employers about general matters affecting the health and safety of the employees they represent
  • represent the employees who elected them, in consultation with health and safety inspectors

25 Landfill Directive (99/31/EC)

This directive aims to prevent or reduce (as far as possible) damage to the environment from disposing of waste to landfill by:

  • setting targets for diverting waste away from landfill to other disposal methods (with targets for recovering and recycling waste and reducing the amount of biodegradable household waste disposed of to landfill)
  • pre-treating of waste before it is disposed of to landfill
  • classifying landfill sites as 'hazardous', 'non-hazardous' and 'inert' according to the type of waste they can handle (and banning the disposal of both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes to landfill)
  • banning (or phasing out) the disposal of certain wastes to landfill

26 Landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003

These regulations, which include agricultural waste, make it an offence to landfill (including in a farm dump) or deposit waste for longer than a year without a landfill permit from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. They fulfil the technical requirements of the landfill directive.

27 Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

These regulations make it necessary that, where reasonably possible, pesticides are not handled by people. When lifting, carrying and so on has to be done by hand, a risk assessment must be carried out if there is a risk of injury.

28 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

Under these regulations, using any mobile work equipment must not result in health and safety problems. Equipment must:

  • meet and be maintained to the relevant CE standards
  • be used only for the intended purpose
  • be used only by a trained person
  • have factory-installed safety features

29 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (SRSCR)

Under these regulations, if an employer recognises a trade union and that trade union has appointed (or is about to appoint) safety representatives, the employer must consult those safety representatives on matters affecting the group (or groups) of employees they represent. Members of these groups of employees may include people who are not members of that trade union. The trade union's safety representatives can:

  • investigate and talk to the employer about possible dangers at work, the causes of accidents, and general complaints employees make about health, safety and welfare issues
  • carry out inspections of the workplace
  • represent employees in discussions with health and safety inspectors, and receive information from inspectors
  • go to meetings of safety committees

30 Special Waste Regulations 1996 (as amended)

These regulations affect people who produce, carry, receive, keep, treat (including recovery) or dispose of waste that is classified as 'special' or hazardous. They were amended during 2004 to include agricultural wastes, and to reflect the most recent Europe-wide list of hazardous wastes. Those parties who deal with special wastes have to obtain consignment notes tracking these wastes from source to recovery or disposal from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

31 Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC (amended under EC Directive 91/156/EEC)

Under these directives, waste must be disposed of without causing danger to people or the environment, and waste management must include plans to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

32 Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2005

These regulations extend the controlled waste regime in Scotland to all forms of farm waste, and also to non-mineral wastes from mines and quarries.

33 Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 (as amended)

Under these regulations, people who deposit, recover or dispose of 'controlled waste', or store more than 23,000 litres of 'special waste' must have a waste management licence. The regulations specify which activities qualify for a licensing exemption and cover the use of exempt incinerators. Unless it is carried by the producer, 'controlled waste' must be transported by a waste carrier who is registered with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, or by an exempt carrier. Licensing exemptions have to be registered with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

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