On 29 June 2016 HSE introduced new processes and procedures for the authorisation of plant protection product applications under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. A full review is planned in July 2017.
Initial feedback from applicants was sought on 18 January 2017 and initial changes have been introduced based on the comments received to improve the service provided.
The HSE said: "It is acknowledged that the timelines for applications have changed to those set in the Regulation; this has raised concern for those applications which previously had shorter processing times eg technical equivalence assessments. Early indications are that technical equivalence assessments are being processed within the previous processing times.
"HSE has also previously given a commitment to prioritise MRL assessments and simpler applications will be delivered within the 12 month deadline e.g. admin applications within 6 weeks.
"HSE continually monitors all processing times of applications to ensure we meet the legislative targets and deliver assessments in a reasonable time period based on the application type.
"The key objectives of the new processes and procedures were to increase the predictability in the delivery of regulatory decisions and ensure HSE fully recovers the costs of all work involved in the evaluation process. Early indications are that the detailed technical sift is the correct approach to improving the quality of the submissions to HSE.
"However, initial changes to address the concerns raised are required:
- HSE is trialling steps to deliver feedback from the detailed technical sift in a shorter time period. We will continuously monitor this to ensure that feedback is delivered promptly.
- Where missing information which is likely to be readily available is identified at the validation stage, the sift manager will contact the applicant and allow the missing information to be provided within a short deadline. Applications will not be rejected under such circumstances.
- Minor issues identified by specialists in the detailed technical sift that are not considered reasons for refusal, but are issues that are likely to need addressing, will be highlighted for information.
"HSE is reviewing the responses in full, and will act on the feedback received. The detailed technical sift procedure will be updated and further changes to improve the process will be introduced shortly. Information on any changes will be communicated through the Pesticides e-bulletin service.
The application forms CRD1 to R used for Plant Protection Products have recently been updated - HSE can no longer accept any applications submitted on outdated forms.