EU MRL changes for 83 PPPs in 2021

Key points
Since the start of 2021, European Union (EU) maximum residue level (MRL) changes concerned 83 plant protection products (PPPs; 59 in 2020). These changes refer to modifications compared to the previous regulation, and can be either an increase or lowering of the MRLs for certain foods.COLEACP identified 27 key substances used in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) horticulture that are affected by these changes. For 10 of the substances (ametoctradin, bupirimate, chlorothalonil, dimethoate, ethoprophos, myclobutanil, propiconazole, pyraclostrobin spinetoram, spirotetramat), the changes were directly related to ACP horticulture products (40 crops).

How will ACP producers/exporters be affected?
Changes of EU MRLs have an impact on ACP growers. For each PPP used, the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in place should always be adapted to ensure compliance with MRLs of the destination market and prevent interception and destruction of the merchandise at the border.

What should ACP producers/exporters do now?
If you use these PPPs, it is important to ensure that the applied GAPs are compliant with the new MRLs. In most cases, adaptations will be needed (dose, number of applications, pre-harvest interval, etc.). 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 COLEACP at:


The European Commission (EC) has recently issued notifications of changes to plant protection product (PPP) maximum residue levels (MRLs) within the European Union (EU). MRLs were changed for 83 PPPs, among which are 27 key substances for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) horticulture. Key active substances are those used/registered in one or more ACP countries on horticultural crops that are frequently exported regionally or internationally.

Changes directly related to ACP horticulture products (40 crops) were identified, in particular for 10 key substances:

  • ametoctradin (applicable from 27 January 2022)
  • bupirimate (applicable from 17 May 2021)
  • chlorothalonil (applicable from 02 September 2021)
  • dimethoate (applicable from 02 September 2021)
  • ethoprophos (applicable from 02 September 2021)
  • myclobutanil (applicable from 02 January 2021)
  • propiconazole (applicable from 02 September 2021)
  • pyraclostrobin (applicable from 25 May 2021)
  • spinetoram (applicable from 27 January 2022)
  • spirotetramat (applicable from 10 November 2021)

Note that some of the changes have already taken place and others will apply as early as 2 September 2021.

Table 1 shows the list of MRL changes introduced for these 10 substances and crops important to ACP horticulture.


All MRL changes introduced to date in 2021

COLEACP makes every effort to digest the information issued from the EC, but it is possible that some of your PPPs or crops are not included in our list of key substances/crops. This news also summarises all EU MRL changes introduced to date in 2021.

Table 2 shows a review of all MRL changes since the beginning of 2021. If you see a relevant PPP for your activity within this list, we invite you to check the complete regulation using the link provided. If you require additional information, or face particular problems as a result of these changes, please contact COLEACP at:


All MRL changes introduced in 2020

Table 3 looks back at MRL changes introduced in 2020 (57 PPPs concerned ; 20 key substances). If you require additional information, or face particular problems as a result of these changes, please contact COLEACP at:


Early identification of MRL changes

All draft regulations on reduction of MRLs must be 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 become informed in advance on foreseen regulation changes and ensure a smooth transition when the new text comes into force (early preparation). It is also an opportunity to submit concerns on potential difficulties (trade barriers) related to the proposed changes. For WTO member countries, comments can be submitted via their National Notification Authority.

Table 4 shows WTO notifications of Draft Commission Regulation with regard to MRLs, potentially affecting horticulture products.