Biostimulants: regulatory context

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BIOSTIMULANTS: an adapted approach

Biostimulants are defined as materials whose function, once applied to the soil or plant, is to stimulate natural plant or soil processes, in order to facilitate or regulate their absorption of nutrients or improve their resistance to abiotic stresses or enhance crop quality.

Biostimulants include:

  • micro-organisms,
  • algae and plant extracts,
  • humic substances,
  • plant growth and development stimulators,
  • etc,….

In France, biostimulants come under the regulations for fertilising substances and growing media.

To date, there is no European Regulation governing placing biostimulants on the European Union market. So each country has its own national requirements for placing biostimulants on the market. Hence there are 4 main routes for placing biostimulants on the market:

  • The declarative system based on national standards or legislation defined in each country. This refers to “Designation Specification Marking” standards, i.e. designations which exist for known products, levels to comply with and labelling rules.
  • Product authorisation, submitting a dossier containing data relating to the effectiveness, safety, and physico-chemical characteristics of the product, assessed by the competent authorities.
  • Simple notification: this is a procedure for registering a product with no real assessment.
  • Mutual recognition based on Regulation (EC) No. 764/2008: if the product is legally marketed in a European Union Member State as a biostimulant, it can be marketed in another Member State, as long as it complies with the specific national regulations for the Member State.

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