EU and GB MRL changes in 2023 (July to September)

Changes to EU and GB pesticide maximum residue levels 

Following the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), COLEAD’s monitoring of pesticide regulations now covers maximum residue limit (MRL) changes in both the EU and Great Britain (GB), enabling us to keep COLEAD members and partner-beneficiaries up-to-date. 

Note that EU MRLs still apply in Northern Ireland (GB covers only England, Scotland and Wales). 

During the period July-September 2023, we have been highlighting significant changes to EU MRLs that affect 12 active substances, 5 of which are important for ACP export horticulture. During this same period, changes of MRLs in GB affect 2 active substances, both considered key substances for ACP horticulture (fludioxonil and cyprodinil). 

The EU and GB have also recently notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of additional proposed changes involving a further 10 substances including 3 that are key in ACP horticulture (indoxacarb, thiacloprid and haloxyfop). Note that comments and concerns can be submitted to the WTO via your national contact points. 

How will ACP producers/exporters be affected? 

Changes to EU/GB MRLs also apply to products that are exported to the EU/GB. Growers producing for export may need to adapt their practices to meet the new MRL or, if this is not possible, stop using these products and look for an alternative method of pest management.  

What should ACP producers/exporters do now? 

For each plant protection products (PPPs) and crop concerned, the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in place will need to be verified and possibly adapted to ensure compliance with the new MRLs. The GAPs include dose rate, number of applications, and pre-harvest interval. In some cases, adaptations to the GAPs will allow the new MRLs to be met. However, in many cases, especially where the level is reduced to the Limit of Determination (LoD), it may not be possible to meet the new MRL, and growers will have to look for alternative crop protection solutions. This is essential to avoid interception and destruction of exported produce at the EU/GB borders. 

In case there is no available alternative, manufacturers can consider the option of requesting an import tolerance. The process for approving an import tolerance MRL in the EU can take time and may imply costs. It is recommended to contact the PPP manufacturer to assess the feasibility.  

If you have any major concerns about these changes, and fear that you will be left without an effective and locally available alternative, please contact COLEAD at:

In this news, ‘key active substances’ refers to those used/registered in one or more ACP country on horticultural crops that are frequently exported regionally or internationally. While COLEAD makes every effort to provide comprehensive information about relevant regulatory changes, it is possible that some PPPs or crops relevant to you are not included in our list of key substances/crops. We recommend therefore that you check the final section of this news, which details all the changes entering into application in 2023, to make sure that you are aware of any other changes that could affect you. 

This news is a quarterly update designed to inform you of any changes introduced during the past three months. If you require more frequent updates on EU MRL changes, we invite you to visit our AGRINFO website and subscribe to the twice-monthly AGRINFO newsletter on EU regulations. 

AGRINFO is a programme funded by the European Union and implemented by COLEAD (Committee Linking Entrepreneurship-Agriculture-Development). It is an information service that keeps you up-to-date on evolving EU policies, regulations and standards with potential impacts on agri-food value chains. The AGRINFO website gives clear summaries for third-country partners about the “what, why and when” of recent and upcoming changes, and actions needed to adjust to new rules. 

Changes to EU MRLs during the period July-September 2023  

The European Commission (EC) has recently published new regulations that change certain EU MRLs. These concern 12 substances (Table 1), including 5 that are of particular importance for ACP horticulture: 

Clicking on the active substance names will take you to the relevant AGRINFO records, where you will find more details on the changes  and crops affected. Links to records are also provided in Table 1. 

Table 2 presents new MRLs for crop-PPP combinations that are important for ACP horticulture entering into force during the period July to September 2023. 

Changes to GB MRLs  

During the period July-September 2023, the GB Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published changes to 2 active substances MRLs within Great Britain (Table 3). Both, fludioxonil (applicable from 18 July 2023) and cyprodinil (applicable from 28 July 2023) are used or registered in at least one ACP country. 

Table 4 presents new MRLs for crop-PPP combinations that are important for ACP horticulture entering into force during the period July to September 2023. 

Further Proposed MRL changes 

A further 10 proposed (draft) MRL changes have recently been notified to the WTO (Table 5), of which 3 are key for ACP horticulture (thiacloprid, indoxacarb and haloxyfop). 

All draft regulations on MRL changes are notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Information Management System for a commenting period of 60 days. This obligation applies to all member countries of the WTO, as the lowering of MRLs might lead to trade barriers. This is an opportunity to be informed in advance of proposed changes, and to take any necessary action before the new regulation comes into force. It is also an opportunity to submit concerns about potential difficulties (trade barriers) that these changes could create. WTO member countries can submit comments via their WTO National Contact Point. 

All MRL changes that are planned to enter into application in 2023-2024 

Table 6 shows all new MRLs that should enter into application in 2023. If any PPP that you use on crops for export to the EU or GB is listed here, we recommend that you check the regulation itself using the link provided. If you require additional information, or face particular problems as a result of these changes, please contact COLEAD at: . 



This publication has been developped by the Fit For Market Plus programme, implemented by COLEAD within the framework of Development cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the European Union (EU).

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the EU and the OACPS. Its contents are the sole responsibility of COLEAD and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the EU or the OACPS.