By Paul Davies, Bridget Reineking, and Andrew Westgate

China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of pesticides, is strengthening its regulation of agrochemicals. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) recently issued revisions to the country’s pesticide registration requirements, which officially came into effect on November 1, 2017. Pesticide use in China accounts for over one-third of total world pesticide usage, so the new rules will affect a significant number of national and multinational entities and a large percentage of the country’s population.

The MOA issued the revisions pursuant to the new Regulation on Pesticide Administration (RPA) and Pesticide Registration Management Measures (MOA Order No. 3, 2017). The new rules, entitled “Data Requirements on Pesticide Registration” (MOA Proclamation No. 2569), require all pesticide chemistry and toxicology tests required under the RPA to be conducted by laboratories located in China, or overseas laboratories possessing a mutual recognition agreement with China. The new rules do not offer much granular detail with respect to how laboratories would obtain such recognition or the applicable requirements — for example, the rules do not indicate whether application data prepared in a foreign language must be translated into Chinese prior to submission. The revisions also follow the MOA’s recent elimination of temporary pesticide registrations, which effectively prolongs the timeline for the review and use of all pesticides in China.