An update on ‘Grandfather rights’ and professional pesticide use

With the rules about the application of pesticides changing recently, many people may not be completely clear about the implications so here is the latest information from the Farming Advice Service:

Under the previous UK legislation governing pesticide use, people born before 31 December 1964 who used an agricultural product on their own or their employer’s land were exempt from the requirement to hold a certificate of competence (this exemption was known as ‘grandfather rights’). New regulations provided for the continuation of that exemption until 25 November 2015. After this date, everyone who uses a professional pesticide product must hold a specified certificate.

The new regulations also require that, from 26 November 2015, everyone purchasing a professional pesticide product must ensure the end user holds a specified certificate.

Existing certificates of competence (for example, PA2 and PA6) will remain valid under the new legislation. Anyone who already has one of these will need to do nothing new. A list of specified certificates is available by clicking here.

It is a legal requirement to follow the rules outlined in ‘The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012’. You risk being prosecuted if you do not adhere to the rules.

If you do not hold a specified certificate, but require the application of professional pesticides to your land, you may employ a contractor or neighbouring farmer, but it is your responsibility to check they hold an appropriate specified certificate.

Further information on complying with the requirements has been produced by the Voluntary Initiative and can be found here.


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