Mutual recognition of fertiliser products
Mutual recognition is a principle whose goal is to permit the free movement of goods in the European single market. As a rule, products that are legally available on the market in a single Member State must have access to the markets of all Member States, even if they do not fully conform with a Member State’s national technical and qualitative provisions.
Mutual recognition can be applied when placing such fertiliser products on the market for which no standard regulation exists in the EU. Such fertiliser products are only governed by the Member States’ national law or other official requirements.
Prior authorisation procedure
Operators must apply for prior authorisation in accordance with the fertiliser act (711/2022) for fertiliser products to be placed on the market based on mutual recognition. Fertiliser products cannot be marketed until a positive decision on the application is issued.
The prior authorisation application must include the following information:
- The economic operator’s name and address, as well as other contact information, including an email address and/or telephone number
- Invoicing address and business ID, or a foreign operator’s VAT code, for costs charged for the processing of the application
- Information based on which the product can be verified to be legally available on the market in another Member State:
- the product’s registration information or a certificate granted by the competent authority;
- the legal provision or other official document based on which the product can be verified to be legally available on the market; and
- a document with the unambiguous information required to identify the goods or their type, and suppliers, customers or end users (e.g. a dated invoice).
- The ingredients used in the manufacture of the product and their origin
- Description of the manufacturing process
- The most recent results of analyses conducted for the product in a laboratory approved by the competent authority at least as follows:
- information about the product composition;
- concentrations of hazardous metals in format mg/kg per dry matter (As, Hg, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn)
- hygiene results for organic fertiliser products; the volume of salmonella and E. coli bacteria; and
- if required, analyses of other potentially hazardous substances and organisms based on the product’s properties.
- Product specification in Finnish and Swedish
- The operator’s approval or registration number in accordance with the animal by-products regulation for fertiliser products that contain animal by-products
The processing of the application will start after all the information required has been submitted to the Finnish Food Authority. The application information must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. The application and its attachments can be sent by email to lannoite.ilmoitukset(at)ruokavirasto.fi or by post to Finnish Food Authority, Plant import and fertiliser division, PO Box 200, FI-00027 Finnish Food Authority.
An administrative decision will be made based on the information provided in the application. A fee for processing the case and issuing the decision will be charged on an hourly basis in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on charges payable to the Finnish Food Authority (1193/2021).
The Finnish Food Authority may, for justified reasons, deny the access of the fertiliser product described in the application to the market or restrict its marketing. Such reasons include the protection of human, animal and plant health and safety, as well as environmental protection. In Finland, harmful substances, pathogens, quarantine pests, and high levels of selenium have been considered factors preventing entry into the market. Furthermore, fertiliser products containing waste cannot be placed on the market.
In addition to the applicant, information about a negative decision will also be provided immediately for the European Commission and other Member States. An appeal against the decision can be lodged with the administrative court. Appeal instructions are attached with the decision. Alternatively, the case can be entered in the SOLVIT procedure. More information about SOLVIT is available at https://tem.fi/en/solvit1.
After receiving an administrative decision based on mutual recognition, the economic operator must, before starting to market the fertiliser product, submit a start-up notification in accordance with the fertiliser act to the Finnish Food Authority.
The notification can be submitted in the Touko case management system or by emailing it to lannoite.ilmoitukset(at)ruokavirasto.fi. Based on the notification, the economic operator will be entered in the register of economic operators maintained by the Finnish Food Authority. A fee will be charged for processing the notification and entering the economic operator in the register. In addition, the economic operator must provide annual information (annual notification) about fertiliser products placed on the market and their applications as defined by the Finnish Food Authority. More information about the reporting obligation is available here.