Fertilizer control

Fertiliser Monitoring and Control

The placing on the market (selling, offering for sale, letting on the market,...) of fertilisers, growing media, soil additives and plant additives is regulated by the Fertilizer Act 1994, the Fertilizer Ordinance 2004 as amended and the EC Regulation 2003/2003.

The monitoring of agricultural inputs, i.e. also of "fertilisers", is carried out through the approval of products and "operational monitoring". The latter is ensured by inspections and monitoring of approvals.

In principle, all monitoring activities are to be seen separately from traffic control. Essential elements of the traffic control are an operational or product-related random sample, the follow-up control and the "ad hoc control" for specific current problems.

Reporting Obligation According to §16 Fertilizer Act

In the sense of a target-oriented monitoring and control, the reporting obligation according to §16 DMG is also to be seen. In addition, data for the preparation and updating of a multi-year risk-based integrated control plan is collected in the course of the reporting. In accordance with the provisions of the German Fertilizer Act (DMG) 1994, Federal Law Gazette No. 513/94 as amended, the marketing of fertilizers, soil additives, growing media and plant additives is subject to mandatory reporting to the Federal Office for Food Safety (Bundesamt für Ernährungssicherheit), together with the completed notification form in accordance with §16 DMG.

For further information, please refer to the information letter on fertiliser registration.

Approval According to § 9a DMG

If fertilizers, soil additives, growing media and plant additives have not already been type-approved by regulation according to §6 DMG 1994 as amended, such products require approval by the authority.

Such an application for authorisation shall be submitted in particular if a product does not comply with the type requirements because of the starting materials used or the declared levels.

Risk-based Control Plan

The Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) is constantly striving to improve the statistically calculated control planning in the course of the optimisation of control activities in fertilizer monitoring. In the very short questionnaire form available here, distributors of fertilizers (manufacturers, importers, cooperatives, retailers, biogas plant operators...) are requested to disclose some company-specific data. For example, the number and volume of fertilisers distributed. The result of the collection of some relevant operational data should allow an even more precise coordination of our monitoring and control activities. The reply and transmission to the responsible department enables both the marketers and the BAES to proceed quickly and easily. In this way, disturbing or possibly time-consuming surveys in the context of operational controls can be prevented. The data collected will of course be treated as strictly confidential by BAES and will of course only be used internally by BAES to draw up the control plan. The questionnaire is available as a download in the navigation on the right under "Forms" and should be sent by fax or email to the contact address given on the questionnaire if possible. Please fill in a separate data sheet (for head offices) for each chain store.

Control plan 2018

The annual plan of inspection shall specify the number of sampling and/or conformity checks, the number of establishments to be inspected and the checks to be carried out. The planned figures are used to determine random samples and to take account of follow-up activities due to infringements from previous periods and capacities for ad-hoc activities.

The stated planned figures regarding sampling and/or conformity checks as well as the plants to be inspected and the plant inspections to be carried out and the implementation of the inspection plan were determined in agreement with the organisational units concerned, so that it can be assumed that resources will be available for planning purposes.

Table 1: Fertiliser control plan 2018



Operational Controls



The following priority actions are foreseen under the 2018 control plan:

  • The continuation of the investigation of the heavy metal contamination of 40 selected EC fertilizers. There is a suspicion of contamination of phosphorous-containing (< 5% P2O5) fertilizers with steel industry slags.
  • Analysis of liquid fertilizer samples (NK or (N)PK fertilizers) for illegal phosphorus carriers.
  • Analysis of 10 fermentation residue samples from biogas plants which contain organic residues (food residues, catering waste, etc.) for perfluorinated surfactants (PFOS). These substances can enter the biogas slurry via cleaning agents from the cleaning of dirty transport containers.
  • Analysis of 10 fermentation residue samples from biogas plants, which mainly ferment energy crops on gamma-emitting isotopes (caesium, ruthenium, strontium, uranium).
  • Monitoring the uranium load of phosphorus-containing fertilizers (< 5% P2O5) to obtain a database for the determination of a future limit value.
  • Analysis of 28 fertilizer samples which have been approved by individual approval according to § 9a DMG 1994.

Annual Control Report 2016

The BAES Annual Control Report on page 28 provides an overview of the control activities carried out by the Fertilizer Department. The representation contains the results in analogy to the fixed planning and therefore gives information about:

  • Number of lots or batches checked by sampling and/or conformity checks and number of establishments checked and checks carried out,
  • the main focuses set on the basis of current issues, and
  • measures taken in relation to the results of control activities


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