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Summary of the decision of the European Ombudsman in case 2000/2015/ANA on the European Commission’s compliance with the rules on the approval of plant protection products

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  • Case: 2000/2015/ANA
    Opened on 17 Mar 2016 - Decision on 22 Mar 2018
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission

The issue in this case was whether the European Commission complied with the statutory provisions governing the procedures for approving pesticides.

The complainant (the European industry association of pesticide producers) disagreed with how the Commission conducts the procedures for (i) the approval of the active substance in a pesticide and (ii) the setting of the maximum residue levels related to that active substance. The Commission argued that both the law and logic dictate that the active substance must first be approved before the maximum residue levels (MRLs) can be set. The complainant argued in particular that the setting of the MRLs must proceed in parallel with the approval of the active substance.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission’s position was acceptable. She added that the Commission must act so as to minimise the time span between the approval of an active substance and the setting of MRLs. Against that background, the Ombudsman closed the case.