Plant protection products (PPPs) are pesticides that are used in agriculture, amenity and home and garden situations. In the UK the main legislation on PPPs covers the approval of pesticides (Directive 91/414/EEC), pesticide use (Code of practice on the safe use of PPPs, national and EU strategies) and residues (Maximum residue level (MRL) directives). A replacement for directive 91/414 and an EU Strategy for the Sustainable Use of PPPs are currently under development. In addition to the direct legislative measures controlling the marketing and use of PPPs, there are potentially indirect effects from other legislation such as the Water Framework Directive, Habitats Directive, Birds Directive, Waste Framework Directive and UK Biodiversity Action Plans. These may have an influence on pesticide usage, practices and availability in the UK.
Other schemes such as the Agri-Environment Schemes (Entry Level Scheme and Higher Level Scheme in England) and Local Environment Risk Assessment for Pesticides (LERAPs), can influence the amount of pesticide usage and the way in which pesticides are used.
Implementation and monitoring of compliance with pesticide legislation is the responsibility of the Pesticide Safety Directorate (PSD) but is aided by inclusion of some of these measures within the Cross Compliance requirements for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), and voluntary schemes such as the Voluntary Initiative (VI) and the farm assurance schemes.
Regulatory impact assessment is a tool to help delivery better regulation. An RIA allows the evaluation of different options to achieve a policy objective and considers what the impacts are – economic, social and environmental – and where the impact might fall, such as industry, Government or other group. In this study the RIA aims to look at the impact of ensuring that the objectives of Pesticides in the Environment: A Strategy for the Sustainable Use of PPPs (PESSUPPP) are met. The PESSUPPP relies on existing legislation and measures, so many of the aspects have already been covered, however these have not been collated into a single full RIA.The costs and benefits of pesticide regulation in the UK have been established for certain parts of the regulatory process but not all. For instance, a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) was included in the consultation for the Strategy for the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products in February 2005 (http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/environment.asp?id=1519), and the economic costs of the pesticide approval process in UK agriculture has been covered in Defra project PS2525. There are however several outstanding areas where the costs and benefits have not been identified or quantified, and others where costs/benefits may need updating or rebasing.
This project is a desk study review of the costs and benefits of elements of UK pesticide regulation covered by PESSUPPP, and the production of a full RIA. This will involve the breakdown of the regulatory system into its components, identification of existing relevant cost/benefit studies or partial RIA, and identification of the gaps and need for completing these. Cost-benefit analyses will be undertaken for the identified gaps where required, and for those requiring updating, to complete all the missing information. Finally, a full RIA will be produced on UK pesticide regulation following the standard framework, and including assessments on small businesses
The work will be undertaken in 3 phases. The first phase will cover the identification of the components of UK pesticide legislation, existing cost-benefit analyses and identification of those requiring updating and any gaps. The second phase will update cost-benefits where required and compete outstanding cost-benefit analyses. The third phase will be the production of the full RIA on the whole of UK pesticide regulation following the Government Guidelines.
This proposal contains the full specification for phases 1-3 however it is initially costed for the completion of phase 1 only, as the costs of phase 2 and 3 are dependent on the outcome of phase 1 and are to be agreed after phase 1.