Friday, 30 September 2011

Asulam - some good news

There is a route that can be followed to make Asulam available into the future.

The meeting organised by United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) took place in York, yesterday.  In advance of a more detailed statement from UPL, I provide a snapshot of the outcomes of the meeting.  Many uncertainties remain, and there is much detail still to be considered and clarified, but there is a good possibility that the use of Asulam can be retained in the long, medium and short terms.

Long Term

  1. UPL will be reapplying for registration of Asulam in the EU.  This is an investment of many £100,000s and is very much welcomed.
  2. It may take 5 years from now to complete the registration process.
Medium Term
  1. The new EU regulations appear to make it possible to obtain a series of Emergency Authorisations that provide an application window of 120 days in a year.
  2. If application of Asulam is to continue without a break, Emergency Authorisations are likely to be required for 2013, 2014, 2015 and probably 2016, while the reapplication process takes place. 
Short Term
  1. Asulam will be available for 2012 under the use-up provisions.  
  2. The message is that as far as possible it will be business as usual.
  3. During 2012, the contractors (helicopter and ground based companies) will be able to apply Asulam for landowners and managers, providing it was purchased before 31 December 2011.
  4. The advice to landowners is to contact your contractor before 31 October 2011 to ensure your requirements can be met.  
Other points
  • Under the regime discussed in the meeting there will be no justification for 'panic buying'.
  • UPL will be able to meet requests to purchase the normal annual consumption of Asulam before the end of 2011, so that it can be made available for 2012.  
  • The contractors have a limited capacity and their activities are weather dependent.  It is unlikely that they will be able to cope with a surge in demand, next year. 
  • Defra and the Chemical Regulations Directorate of the Health & Safety Executive are the relevant agencies for the whole UK and they were represented at the meeting.  Their help in the process to date was gratefully acknowledged and their continuing support was welcomed.
  • The establishment of a Bracken Control Group will be considered as a way to represent the bracken control industry and provide support for the re-registration process.
Reminder of Key dates
  • 31 December 2011 - no sale, supply, transfer or promotion of products containing Asulam to take place after this date.
  • 31 December 2012 - end of the use-up period.  After this date it will be illegal to apply or store products containing Asulam in the EU. 


  1. What is the situation for landowners/staff applying asulam on their own land?
    Who will be applying for the Emergency Authorisation?
    What paperwork will landowners need to do to ensure they can apply Asulox in 2013?
    Perhaps might be useful to start an FAQ section?

  2. Michael,

    All fair questions, but we will not know the full answers for a while.

    Provisional responses:
    1. If you want to apply Asulam next year, you will need to purchase it, prior to 31 Dec 11. The advice must be to get in touch with your supplier now.
    2. If a Bracken Control Group is established (my preference), it is likely that the Group may be best placed to apply for the Emergency Authorisation. However, this may not work and an alternative approach may be needed.
    3. It is not clear what the arrangements will be under the Emergency Authorisation for application in 2013. This will become clearer in time. An application cannot be submitted until after the ban takes full effect on 31 Dec 12.
    4. I agree that a FAQ section on a website would be a useful concept.


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