.

In the past few years inspections have been introduced for sprayers already in use in various Member States and candidate countries. This development has been encouraged by public concern about possible risks, and efforts to reduce the use of plant protection products. The three most important reasons for these inspections are 

  • reducing the risk of environmental pollution through the use of plant protection products
  • optimum plant protection using the least possible amount of plant protection products and
  • the safety of inspection personnel.

In order to assure the safe use of plant protection products in European agriculture, it is necessary to introduce inspections of sprayers throughout Europe and to determine requirements and inspection methods for sprayers already in use. The requirements and methods for inspecting sprayers in use are determined by European standard EN 13790, which was published in 2004. Compliance with the requirements stated shall be checked by inspection, function tests and measurements. A total of some 45 different requirements are stated which are checked during the inspection and whose results are recorded in an inspection report. This is a logical step following the standardisation of environmentally relevant requirements for new equipment. 

EN 13790 also states that sprayers can be inspected either on a voluntary or a compulsory basis. In both cases, further legal and non-legislative regulations are needed, for example concerning the enforcement of inspections, the certification of centres for carrying out the inspections, intervals between inspections, administrative regulations, technical prerequisites and a quality assurance system.

The "DIRECTIVE 2009/128/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 October 2009, establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides" in the meantime creates the prerequisites / regulations which are at present missing for obligatory inspections of sprayers in use. These prerequisites / regulations are essential for assuring technical inspections of high quality and for comparability between the Member States.

The European Commission supports the introduction of sprayers' inspections in the Member States and candidate countries by TAIEX or twinning programs which finance the stay of experts in other countries. 

As already mentioned, numerous Member States see the sprayers as an important element for sustainable plant protection and have therefore already introduced sprayers inspections or are planning these. 

The survey presented on the occasion of the third European Workshop on sprayers' inspections (SPISE) in 2009 does not of course represent entirely the current situation, but still gives an impression on the many activities in the Member States, Annex 1. 

1 The current situation regarding sprayers inspections in Germany (2004)  

1 The current situation regarding sprayers inspections in Germany

The inspection of used sprayers has a long history in Germany. The first inspections for field crop sprayers were at the end of the 60's, for air-assisted sprayers in fruit and hop growing and viticulture in the mid 80's, initially only as voluntary inspections. The unsatisfactory participation of farmers was the decisive factor for making the inspections compulsory, which was in 1993 for field crop sprayers and 2002 for air-assisted sprayers. The owners of field sprayers and air-assisted sprayers for viticulture and fruit and hop growing are now obliged to have their equipment tested at intervals of 2 years by official inspection workshops (agricultural machinery workshops). Brand new sprayers must be inspected 6 months following initial use. But the range of such inspections is reduced to the pump, the hoses and lines and the nozzles, Annex 8. The cornerstones of the sprayers' inspections are stipulated in the Plant Protection Product Ordinance. The JKI is authorised to determine the inspection procedure and the technical requirements for sprayers and inspection facilities, Annex 2.

2 Inspection of sprayers already in use in Germany 

The Federal States are responsible themselves for carrying out sprayers inspections in accordance with legal regulations and BBA guidelines, Annex 3.

3 Inspection of sprayers already in use - Organisation in Baden-Württemberg 

The Federal States have built up a wide network of officially recognised inspection workshops; there are more than 1000 inspection centres throughout the country which carry out inspections in over 2000 locations. About 70 000 field sprayers and 25 000 air-assisted sprayers are inspected annually. It can be seen by consulting the list of sprayers that about 50 % of all the sprayers inspected was faulty and had to be repaired, Annex 4.

4 Yearly performed inspections and found out defects 

As a rule, the official inspection centres have an agricultural machinery workshop at their disposal so that obvious faults can be repaired immediately and the sprayer can leave the inspection workshop in perfect technical condition. Sprayers which are in perfect technical working order are awarded an inspection sticker when they have passed the inspection.

2 Future EU regulations regarding the inspection of sprayers

With its Directive 2009/128/EC the EU Commission prepared binding regulations for the sustainable use of plant protection products. 

The Directive includes numerous measures. Among these are: 

a)  further education

b)  certification of new sprayers

c)  inspection of sprayers already in use

d)  aerial spraying

e)  specific measures to protect the aquatic environment

f)   reducing the use of pesticides in sensitive areas

g)  handling and storage of pesticides and their packaging and residues

h)  integrated plant protection 

For sprayers, both regulations b) and c) mentioned above are relevant. Both regulations envisage a certification system for new sprayers and an obligatory inspection for sprayers already in use. The present state of both sprayer regulations is illustrated on the Commission's web pages, where current versions can be read or downloaded, Annex 5.

5 Future regulations for sprayers inspections in the EU 

Member States and candidate countries considering regulations for sprayers therefore now take the Directive requirements into account. 

3 Technical requirements regarding the inspection of sprayers - European standard EN 13790 

European standard EN 13790 stipulates technical requirements regarding the inspection of sprayers. It also defines measuring methods and test facilities for the inspection of pumps, manometers, and the distribution quality of spray booms;

6 EN 13790 part 1; see Annex 6,
7 EN 13790 part 2; see Annex 7. 

By means of the many illustrations shown in these PowerPoint presentations, the technical approach of inspections can be demonstrated very clearly and comprehensively.

This standard also states that the definition of many further technical, organisational and legal facts is required, for example whether private or national organisation, inspection intervals etc.

EN 13790, Parts 1 and 2, has been implemented into the BBA inspection regulations / features via the BBA guideline on the Inspection of Plant Protection Products and Sprayers, Part VII 1 - 3.2.1; see Annex 8.

8 Features for the inspection of sprayers in use 

This prescribes how to handle new sprayers and to define minor technical deficiencies. Since EN 13790 Parts 1 and 2 only apply to field sprayers and sprayers for tall growing crops and the Commission, in its Directive, also considers the inspection of other types of sprayers, this guideline also presents features on other types of equipment such as aircraft, hose sprayers with pistols, etc. 

4 Implementation of sprayers' inspections in Germany - legal and non-legislative regulations 

In order to ensure that farmers have their sprayers inspected at the intended intervals and that the appropriate possibilities/prerequisites have been established on the part of the government, and that in the case of non-compliance with the inspection obligation, necessary measures are taken, legal and non-legislative regulations are required in addition to EN 13790 in the Member States.

Germany has already introduced an obligatory inspection for field sprayers (1993) and sprayers for tall growing crops (2002) and has established the corresponding regulations. It is agreed that this is a successful example for the introduction of obligatory inspections in other Member States. 

With the introduction of an obligatory inspection, the technical, organisational and administrative regulations/processes in the Federal States have to be discussed and adapted continuously in order to ensure a high-quality inspection which is comparable throughout the Federal States. The existing legal and non-legislative regulations in Germany and their use together with European rules are presented in a diagram; see Annex 9.

9 Relations between EU/CEN, federal and states regulations on the official inspection of sprayers  

Comments:

When introducing sprayers inspections, the Member States must take into consideration the rules at European level, EN (e.g. Directive 2009/128/EC) and CEN (European committee for standardisation), see Annex 9, a) and b). 

Germany has taken these European rules into consideration. For example, the BBA features correspond with European standard EN 13790 Parts 1 and 2. Furthermore, the Plant Protection Product Ordinance states that sprayer which is inspected in other Member States according to EN 13790 Parts 1 and 2 is accepted in Germany if the inspection is no longer than 2 years ago.

As for regulations at national level:

§ 30 (1) German Plant Protection Act - the BMELV (Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) is authorised to establish an obligatory inspection with the required regulations and to regulate this procedure through an ordinance; Annex 10.

10 Plant Protection Act

The Ministry has made use of its authority and stipulated the remaining cornerstones in § 7, 7a and 7b of the Plant Protection Product Ordinance, for example the obligation to have sprayers inspected, the types of equipment to be inspected, the intervals between inspections (2 years) and the consequences of not complying with the obligatory inspections, see Annex 11.

11 Regulation on Plant Protection Products (extract) 

§ 30 (2) of the German Plant Protection Act also states that the governments of the Federal States may delegate the inspection of sprayers to approved inspection workshops and that the Federal States have to regulate the approval procedure and the implementation of inspections. 

The BMELV and the Federal States have agreed to establish a working group WG-JKI/PPS organised by the JKI, which is to co-ordinate between Federal Government and the Federal States. As a result of this working group, a workshop approval decree has been compiled for inspection workshops, which stipulates the procedure for approval, and also the rights and obligations of inspection workshops; see Annex 12.

12 Workshop approval decree (example) 

An inspection decree has also been compiled which regulates how inspections are to be carried out, the inspection report, inspection stickers, fees and the contents of training for inspection personnel; see Annex 13.

13 Inspection decree (example) 

The proposals/recommendations made by the working group (see (c) Annex 9) were adopted by the Federal States in their regulations and administrative provisions. Consequently, the inspection workshops are obliged to use comparable and harmonised procedures for inspecting sprayers (see (d) Annex 9).

In the meantime, the working group WG-JKI/PPS has become a fixed establishment and represents the discussion forum for subject matter requiring debate or co-ordination between the Federal States. In accordance with the inspection decree, the approved inspection wor

The proposals/recommendations made by the working group (see (c) Annex 9) were adopted by the Federal States in their regulations and administrative provisions. Consequently, the inspection workshops are obliged to use comparable and harmonised procedures for inspecting sprayers (see (d) Annex 9). 

In the meantime, the working group WG-JKI/PPS has become a fixed establishment and represents the discussion forum for subject matter requiring debate or co-ordination between the Federal States. In accordance with the inspection decree, the approved inspection workshops are obliged to report on the inspections carried out to the responsible plant protection service, which is the approval authority in the Federal State, and to provide the approval authority with a copy of the inspection report for each inspected sprayer. The JKI compiles a collective report with the report results from the Federal States and reports to the BMELV annually in April/May on the inspection results from the past year. 

The chosen structure of the legal regulations and others (see (a), (b), (c) Annex 9) is characterised by the fact that in the Plant Protection Act and in the Plant Protection Product Ordinance, fundamental matters have been defined and the technical matters, which need to be updated and developed continuously due to technical progress, remain the responsibility of the Federal States/JKI, i.e. they can be discussed and determined in the working group. This means greater flexibility as far as technical matters are concerned.

kshops are obliged to report on the inspections carried out to the responsible plant protection service, which is the approval authority in the Federal State, and to provide the approval authority with a copy of the inspection report for each inspected sprayer. The JKI compiles a collective report with the report results from the Federal States and reports to the BMELV annually in April/May on the inspection results from the past year. 

The chosen structure of the legal regulations and others (see (a), (b), (c) Annex 9) is characterised by the fact that in the Plant Protection Act and in the Plant Protection Product Ordinance, fundamental matters have been defined and the technical matters, which need to be updated and developed continuously due to technical progress, remain the responsibility of the Federal States/JKI, i.e. they can be discussed and determined in the working group. This means greater flexibility as far as technical matters are concerned. 

5 Quality assurance/quality management 

The test benches, as they are used for pump and manometer testing and distribution measurement, must be inspected from time to time and re-adjusted if necessary. It is the job of the approval authority in every Federal State to monitor the accuracy of the test benches used. Since the plant protection service is organised differently as an approval authority in the different Federal States, and has differing resources at its disposal, the Federal States have introduced different solutions for quality assurance as far as the inspection facilities are concerned. For example, Lower Saxony has acquired mobile centres and inspects/calibrates inspection facilities at the individual inspection workshops on these premises. In North Rhine-Westphalia the inspection workshops have to show their inspection facilities to the approval authority responsible in Münster. In Bavaria, the competent authority of the plant protection service allocates this task to the DEULA (Vocational training centre for agricultural technology and know-how transfer), which carries out inspections and calibration on the premises of the respective inspection workshop. The procedures followed in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria are shown in a PowerPoint presentation, see Annex 14.

14 Examination and calibration of the test facilities 

Further regulations, rules for implementation, applications, forms and checklists are included in the annexes. 

6 Monitoring of plant protection equipment in use - plant protection monitoring program

In the Federal Republic of Germany the authorities in the Federal States monitor compliance with regulations which apply to the placing on the market and the application of plant protection products.

Monitoring is carried out in accordance with the plant protection monitoring program which provides for a national harmonised procedure for carrying out and reporting on monitoring.

The Federal States determine the subject of monitoring and the selection of farm businesses. Additionally, the focus for nationwide annual monitoring is determined.

According to the plant protection products ordinance, plant protection equipment which has not been inspected obligatorily (technical inspection) is not to be used. Therefore, monitoring checks are for seeing whether a valid inspection sticker exists. Alternatively, the operator can prove the timely inspection of his equipment by showing the inspection protocol. Furthermore, a visual inspection of the exterior condition of the equipment shows whether it has any obvious deficiencies which would inhibit the correct application of a plant protection product, e.g. leaking tanks, pipes and hoses, defective pressure gauges, dripping nozzles, defective spray booms. 

In 2005, 4600 pieces of plant protection equipment were inspected. Around 2.6 % were declared as defective. Fines of up to 800 € were imposed. 

In addition to the plant protection monitoring program, agricultural farms are monitored by the integrated administration and control system introduced by Regulation (EC) N°1782/2003 (InVeKoS) in accordance with cross compliance law. The farms selected are checked for compliance with good agricultural practice. As far as plant protection legislation is concerned, the certificate of expert knowledge of plant protection product use and the use of inspected plant protection equipment is checked. In 2005 the InVeKoS checked 10 738 pieces of plant protection equipment, of which 35 (0,3%) had no valid inspection sticker. 

In 2010 a total of 3 824 (2005: 15 388) pieces of plant protection equipment already in use were checked for a valid inspection sticker. 128 (2005: 153) did not meet requirements, a rate of 3,3 % (2005: 1 %).

http://www.bvl.bund.de/GGTSPU-styx2.bba.de-21144-691728-6yMxPTVmL0MTSkY3-DAT/SharedDocs/Downloads/04_Pflanzenschutzmittel/08_psm_kontrollprg/psm_KontrolleUeberwachung_pskp_jahresbericht2010.pdf?__blob=publicationFile%26v=2

7 Further regulations / rules for implementation


1. Syllabus for training courses for teaching inspection personnel
The syllabus for training courses is mainly determined by the order of inspection (Annex 13). The Federal States decide individually how this is to be organised, since the necessities / conditions in each State vary too much to be able to have the same stipulations for the whole of Germany.

15 Syllabus for training courses for teaching inspection personnel

2. Checklist for the farmer - how to make preparations
This list is for farmers and provides information on how the sprayer should be prepared so that inspections can be carried out in a time- and cost-saving manner.

16 Checklist for the farmer - how to make preparations

3. Recommendations for handling contaminated water emanating from inspections
Information / recommendations are given to ensure that water contaminated with plant protection products does not land in inspection workshops' drains and thus not in public drainage when the sprayers are inspected.

17 Recommendations for handling contaminated water emanating from inspections

4. Examples for determining inspection fees
Inspection fees cannot be determined by the authority since this would be interfering with commercial inspection workshops' decision-making. This table shows examples of the fees for field crop sprayers in Lower Saxony.

18 Examples for determining inspection fees

5. Plaque of approval
In accordance with the workshop approval decree (Annex 12) the inspection workshop has the right to carry this plaque so that it is clear that this inspection workshop is officially approved and is allowed to carry out official inspections of sprayers.

19 Plaque of approval

6. Inspection sticker
The inspection sticker is determined in shape and lettering by the Regulation on Plant Protection Products (Annex 11) and distinguishes sprayers which has passed inspection in accordance with § 7 of the Regulation on Plant Protection Products.

20 Inspection sticker

7. Inspection report form
The results of a sprayers inspection are recorded on this form. It must be completed. The form is part of the BBA guideline (Annex 8) and adjusted to the many different features which have to be inspected. Actual it is available only in German language.

21 Inspection report form 

8 Applications/forms


1. Application for recognition as an inspection workshop for sprayers
Form for applying for recognition as an inspection workshop at the responsible plant protection authority

22 Application for recognition as an inspection workshop for sprayers 

2. Application form for taking part in training for inspection personnel
Form for applying for an advanced training course at the responsible plant protection authority.

23 Application form for taking part in training for inspection personnel 

3. Certificate for having taken part in training / advanced training
certificate for participants to certify that they have passed training / advanced training.

24 Certificate for having taken part in training / advanced training

4. Forms for inspection workshops for reporting on inspections carried out and inspection stickers awarded, to be sent to the responsible plant protection authority

The inspection workshop must report on the inspections it has carried out and the inspection stickers it has awarded at the end of every year.

25 Forms for inspection workshops for reporting on inspections carried out and inspection stickers awarded, to be sent to the responsible plant protection authority

5. Form for ordering and returning inspection stickers
The inspection workshop then has proof of the inspection stickers it has ordered and those which have been returned to the workshop.

26 Form for ordering and returning inspection stickers

6. Form for confirming the date stated by the farmer for inspection
Form which the inspection workshop can use for confirming the inspection date to the farmer.

27 Form for confirming the date stated by the farmer for inspection

7. Form for calibrating inspection facilities
The calibration results for the inspection facilities used must be recorded on the corresponding form.

28 Form for calibrating inspection facilities

8. Form for monitoring sprayers regarding a valid inspection sticker
The monitoring results must be recorded on the corresponding form.


29 Form for monitoring sprayers regarding a valid inspection sticker

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