From November 26, 2015 anyone applying a pesticide authorised for professional use will need to hold a specified certificate of competence.
The exemption allowing sprayer operators born before December 31, 1964 to use professional pesticides without a certificate of competence ends on November 26. From this date anyone using professional pesticides will need to have a certificate prior to making a spray application, unless they are being supervised for the purpose of training by someone who holds such a certificate.
From November 26, 2015 it also becomes an offence for anyone to purchase pesticides authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user holds the appropriate certificate(s).
Hazel Doonan, crop protection sector head at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), says: "It’s important that everyone understands their legal obligations in relation to the ending of Grandfather Rights, and the purchase and use of professional pesticides. From November 26 this change in legislation could have serious consequences for anyone caught out."
The Voluntary Initiative (VI) has produced a poster for use in stores selling professional pesticides to ensure customers are aware of their obligations.