Agrichemical certification requirements

With a recently released New Zealand Standard for the Management of Agrichemicals and some misunderstandings around the requirements for purchase and use of agrichemicals, it’s timely we clarify the situation.

A new standard was released in August 2021 for the Management of Agrichemicals: NZS8409:2021, superseding the 2004 standard (NZS8409:2004). This was written following a 10-month review process and 12-week public consultation period. The agrichemicals in this standard include
pesticides, veterinary medicines and extends to the agricultural use of detergents and sanitisers.

The standard covers storage, supply, transport, use and training requirements for agrichemicals in New Zealand and includes relevant information governing the use (including off label), spray planning,
transport, storage, handling, disposal and consistent good practice.

A key change to the scope of the Standard is to limit its application to the workplace. The Hazardous Substances Regulations 2017 are a significant determinant of the rules applying to hazardous substances and these regulations only apply
to the workplace, rather than noncommercial (residential) locations.

There is some confusion about the training and certification requirements for the purchase, storage and use of agrichemicals. Fortunately this information can be found online by visiting hazardoussubstances.govt. nz and using the calculator. To do this,
you will need to have the Safety Data Sheets for all of your agrichemicals. Further information can be found on the WorkSafe or Growsafe websites, or by searching ‘agrichemical training NZ’.

Worth noting is that Approved Handler certification no longer exists and has been replaced by the Certified Handler qualification. Purchasers of some agrichemical products are required to have a valid Certified Handler certificate.
There are however a relatively small number of products in this category. Previously classified under the old HSNO hazard classifications 6.1A and 6.1B, the Environmental Protection Authority now classify these under an international classification standard, GHS (Globally Harmonised System of Classification and
Labelling of Chemicals) class – see below.

A list of the products that require the purchaser to hold a Certified Handler certificate can be found on the Growsafe website under the tab Resources and “Product requiring CH”. Farmlands can also advise which
products require this certificate.

In addition, as shown in the table below, there are products that can only be used in the workplace. Suppliers/retailers must be provided with evidence that a competent person in that workplace will take responsibility for these products.

The Standard describes a competent person as someone who has had appropriate training and instruction in the management of hazardous substances.
The Standard lists what the competency training must include. This information can also be found in Clause 4.5 of the Hazardous Substances Regulations. A Growsafe Standard certificate is one type of acceptable evidence of competency, as is a Certified Handler certificate or any other training which meets the
requirements laid out in the Standard or Hazardous Substances Regulations.

The requirements set out above relate to the sale or transfer of products. There are different requirements for training and competency relating to the use of products, particularly where products have environmental hazard classifications.

Further information relating to this can be found on the
Growsafe website. Or phone: 0508 GROWSAFE (0508 476 972)

Article supplied by Farmlands