The Fertiliser Act 2021 (Federal Law Gazette I No. 103/2021), the Fertiliser Ordinance 2004 as amended and the EC Regulation 2003/2003 (from 16.7.2022: Regulation (EU) 2019/1009) regulate the approval, placing on the market, labelling and control of fertilisers and other fertiliser products.

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

All monitoring activities are basically to be seen separately from the inspection. The latter aims to ensure that products are placed on the market in conformity with standards by means of risk-based control planning.

Essential elements of the inspection are a company- or product-related random sample, the follow-up inspection and the "ad hoc inspection" for special current problems.

More information on the changes due to the amendment to the Fertiliser Act:

Reporting obligation according to §16 Fertiliser Act

In order to enable the Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) to carry out effective and efficient controls, § 16 provides for the obligation to notify the BAES of the intention to place fertiliser products on the market in the course of business before commencing the activity, stating the responsible company owner, the address or registered office of the company as well as the type and designation of the fertiliser products.

"§ 16: Anyone intending to place fertiliser products on the market in the course of business shall notify the authority of this before commencing the activity, stating the responsible proprietor, his address or registered office, the type and designation of the fertiliser products. The authority must be informed of any changes.“

The placing on the market of fertilisers without notification pursuant to § 16 DMG 2021 is in principle an administrative offence and must be reported as such by the BAES.

Please use the BAES eServices portal for a notification, notification of change or notification of termination of placing on the market.

For the implementation of § 16 DMG 2021, fees are due according to the fertiliser fee tariff, depending on the effort involved. The fee tariff is published in the Official News on the BAES website and can be accessed.

If you have any questions regarding the notification pursuant to §16, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail (duengemittel@baes.gv.at).

Approval according to § 9 DMG 2021

If fertilisers, soil additives, growing media and plant aids have not already been approved by ordinance according to §5 DMG 2021 as amended, such products require approval by the authority.

Such an application for approval shall be submitted in particular if a product does not meet the type requirements due to the raw materials used or the specified content values.

Placing on the market of goods within the scope of mutual recognition pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/515

The mutual recognition procedure relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State has been governed by Regulation (EU) 2019/515 since 19 April 2020.

This Regulation establishes clear procedures to ensure the free movement of goods that have been lawfully placed on the market in a Member State. In order for goods to be lawfully placed on the market in another Member State, they must comply with the relevant applicable rules.

The manufacturer of goods or of goods of a certain type that are made available or are intended to be made available on the market of the Member State of destination may make a mutual recognition declaration of lawful marketing to the Federal Office for Food Safety as the competent authority. In this context, the Annex to Regulation (EU) 2019/515 has to be followed.

As of 1 October 2021, the application for mutual recognition has to be submitted to the Federal Office for Food Safety exclusively by means of an online application.

Risk-based control plan

In the course of optimising control activities in fertiliser monitoring, the Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) is constantly endeavouring to improve the statistically calculated control planning.

In the very brief questionnaire form available here, distributors of fertilisers (manufacturers, importers, cooperatives, retailers, biogas plant operators...) are asked to provide some company-specific data. For example, the number and volume of fertilisers distributed. The result of the collection of some relevant company data should enable an even more precise coordination of our monitoring and control activities.

The response and transmission to the competent department enables both the distributors and the BAES to proceed quickly and without complications. In this way, disruptive or possibly time-consuming surveys can be prevented in the course of company inspections. The data collected will of course be treated as strictly confidential by the BAES and will of course be used exclusively within the BAES to draw up the control plan.

The questionnaire is available as a download in the right-hand navigation under "Forms" and should, if possible, be sent by fax or email to the contact address indicated on it. We ask you to fill out a separate data sheet for each branch (in the case of head offices).

Control plan

The annual control plan specifies the number of sampling and/or compliance checks as well as the number of holdings to be controlled and the operational controls to be carried out. The planned figures take into account sampling, follow-up activities due to non-compliances from previous periods and capacities for ad hoc activities.

The stated target figures with regard to sampling and/or compliance checks as well as the establishments to be inspected and the operational inspections to be carried out as well as the implementation of the inspection plan were determined in consultation and agreement with the organisational units concerned, so that it can be assumed that resources are available in a plannable manner.

Annual control report

The BAES annual inspection report provides an overview of the inspection activities carried out by the Fertiliser Division starting on page 2.

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