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What's New?

You need to be aware of any relevant changes to accepted industry practices, agrichemical registrations, industry codes of practice and the legislation around agrichemical use.

For example, WorkSafe Certiifed Handler certificates for agrichemicals can only be renewed if the Test Certifier (who issues these certificates) is confident that you know about any relevant changes that have occurred to the legislation since your previous test certificate was issued.

So what changes have occurred? NOTE: This page was last updated on 1 December 2017

Regulatory Changes

  1. New Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations took effect on 1 December 2017. The changes introduced in these regulations have been incorporated into the material on this website and significant changes highlighted. A key change is in the requirements for the (renamed) Certified Handler.
  2. At the same time, an EPA Notice was passed to cover the requirement to manage the environmental effects of hazardous substances.  These changes are also incorporated into this website and significant changes highlighted.
  3. Changes to health and safety legislation - the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into effect on 4 April 2016 bringing new responsibilities for businesses. New regulations are being prepared which will cover use of hazardous substances such as agrichemicals in the workplace. These are due to take effect 1 July 2017.
  4. In 2014 a new organisation WorkSafeNZ was established and it has taken over responsibility for the managing the Approved Handler (and other test certificate) system.
  5. ERMA is now EPA (change occurred July 2011) - the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), who used to administer the HSNO legislation, has been restructured and is now part of the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Much of the ERMA literature has been rebranded and a new website ( established.
  6. Several small, but important, changes have occurred to the HSNO legislation since it was implemented for agrichemicals in 2004.
  7. A 2006 amendment to the 2004 transfer of agrichemicals into the control of HSNO specifically prohibits the application of any pesticide onto or into water, unless the pesticide contains as its active ingredient glyphosphate, diquat, s-methoprene or Bacillus thuringiensis (sub-species israelensis) and the pesticide is under the control of an Approved Handler (or a qualified person as defined by the EPA Hazardous Property Controls Notice 2017).

Agrichemical reassessments:

  1. Over 24 reassessments of hazardous substances have occurred since HSNO was implemented and approximately half of these were for agrichemicals. From your perspective, changes resulting from agrichemical reassessments will be communicated through the withdrawal of products from sale, or changes to product labels. However, where agrichemicals have been withdrawn, you will need to ensure that existing stocks are used within the phase out period or are professionally disposed of.
    • Agrichemicals no longer available:
      • Endosulphan (insecticide)
      • Azinphos methyl (insecticide)
      • Methyl parathion (insecticide)
      • Methyl arsenic acid (Pasma herbicide).
    • Agrichemicals with changed controls:
      • clopyralid herbicide (eg Versatill, Clout)
      • Hydrogen cyanamide dormancy breaker (eg Hi-Cane).
  2. New rules for insecticides containing organophosphates and carbamates (OPCs) as active ingredients came into effect on 1 July 2015. You should read all about these changes - they will affect you!

Industry Practice

  1. Updated code of practice: The New Zealand Standard 8409:2004 (Management of Agrichemicals) was reviewed and published in August 2021.
  2. Changes to industry/work place practices: Nozzle and spray adjuvant technology has advanced significantly over the last five years. There is now a wider range of low drift Air Inclusion nozzles available on the New Zealand market. The use of these types of nozzles for spray drift mitigation is becoming more common, especially in kiwifruit for the application of hydrogen cyanamide (now an industry requirement for use of this chemical) and on boom sprayers.
  3. Labelling change: Until 2012, all agrichemical labels were required to have a shelf life statement of two years. A significant number of products have a shelf life in excess of this. However, a large amount of product unsold in the two year period had to be sent back for testing due to the expiry date. This was very inefficient as generally the product was suitable for use. At the request of AGCARM (Agricultural Chemicals and Animal Remedies Manufacturers) the regulator, the ACVM Group (Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicine Group), changed this requirement. Now all products will list the date of manufacture (D.O.M.). Some products will also have a shelf life statement.
  4. This means that:

    • If a product does not have a shelf life statement, these products are stable for at least two years after the date of manufacture under normal storage conditions.
    • Products that expire within two years of the date of manufacture will include a shelf life statement to this effect.
    • For products manufactured more than two years ago you should check suitability with your supplier