New legislative instrument – Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Code (Agricultural Active Constituents) Standards 2022

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08 March 2021, AU: The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Code (Agricultural Active Constituents) Standards 2022 (the Active Standards) is a new legislative instrument made on 10 February 2022 under section 6E of the Agvet Code. The instrument commenced 16 February 2022, the day after it was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation.

As required by regulation 8AF(1) of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (the Regulations), the proposal to establish the active standards as a legislative instrument, which would replace the previous informal active constituent standards, was released for public consultation on the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website and in the APVMA Gazette, 7 September 2021. Comments received in response to the public consultation were generally supportive and were published on the APVMA website.

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Under regulation 8AF(4) of the Regulations, the APVMA must publish a notice in the APVMA Gazette and on its website when it makes a standard under section 6E of the Code, stating that the standard has been made. This notice was published in the APVMA Gazette, 8 March 2022.

Regulation 42(3) of the Agvet Code Regulations specifies the standard prescribed for a chemical product or a constituent within that product, for the purposes of section 87 of the Agvet Code (which relates to compliance of a product or constituent with standards and includes penalties for non-compliance) as being the standard published in any of a ‘cascade’ of publications, with a publication higher in the cascade taking precedence over one lower down. The publications are, in order:

  1. a standard specified in an Order made under section 7 of the Agvet Code Act (of which there are none currently)
  2. a standard made under section 6E of the Agvet Code (as is proposed)
  3. a standard published for a listed chemical product
  4. a monograph in the British, European or US Pharmacopoeia
  5. a specification published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and/or the World Health Organization.

Establishment of the active constituent standards as a standard under section 6E means the APVMA standards, over which the APVMA has full control, take precedence over a potentially inappropriate and irrelevant standard from another publication.

All standards previously published on the APVMA website have now been included in the new section 6E standard, together with approximately 20 standards for recently approved actives that had been released for public consultation via the APVMA Gazette but had not yet been published on the APVMA website. 

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