On 12 December, the EU Institutions reached an agreement on new EU rules on fertilisers proposed by the Commission in 2016 as a key part of the Circular Economy Package.The new rules will open new market opportunities for companies producing organic fertilisers and at the same time will help to create a new market for secondary raw materials in line with the circular economy approach.
The new rules are aimed at reducing the need for mineral-based fertilisers, which has negative environmental impacts and depends mainly on imports of phosphate rock. Fertilisers products from organic sources are outside of the scope of the current Fertilisers Regulation and dependant on mutual recognition between Member States. This resulted in a competitive disadvantage for organic fertilisers, which also hampered investments in circular economy.
In this scenario, the new rules aim to support the scaling up of the sustainable resources and boost jobs and investments. The agreement on the Fertilisers Products Regulations will open the market of innovative organic fertilisers providing common rules on safety, quality and labelling requirements across Europe. The Regulation also set up limits for toxic contaminants, including cadmium, in order to ensure a high level of soil protection and reduce environmental and health risks. Moreover, the new rules offer the opportunity to opt for optional harmonisation, choosing to comply to national standards and sell the product to other EU countries on mutual recognition basis.
The preliminary political agreement reached in trialogue negotiations is subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council. The Regulation will become mandatory in 2022.