The current Dutch legislation has no specific conditions for biostimulants. In general, biostimulants have no plantprotection and no fertiliser effects. They can be marketed as biostimulants in the Netherlands provided there are no risks involved for humans, animals or the environment.

If the product does have plantprotection effects, the plantprotection legislation applies.

If the product does have fertiliser effects, the fertiliser legislation applies.

Labeling for biostimulants is equal to fertilisers.

In the Netherlands we do not have specific regulation for Biostimulant products, therefor it is not possible to apply for mutual recognition of a microbial biostimulant in the Netherlands.

Definition biostimulants (from new EU VO2019_1009)

‘Plant biostimulant’ means a product stimulating plant nutrition processes independently of the product’s nutrient content with the sole aim of improving one or more of the following characteristics of the plant or the plant rhizosphere:

  • nutrient use efficiency
  • tolerance to abiotic stress
  • quality traits
  • availability of confined nutrients in soil or rhizosphere

Current situation in the Netherlands

Current Dutch legislation has no specific framework for biostimulants. In general, biostimulants have no plant protection and no fertilizing effects, and such a product can be marketed as a biostimulant if there are no risks for humans, animals and the environment.

If the product does have plant protection effects, the plant protection product regulations apply.

If the product does have nutritional value for plants, i.e. if nitrogen, phosphate, potasium etc. are present, the fertilizer legislation applies.

Labeling requirements

The advice is to label the products as follows:

  1. The label indicates that the product is not a fertilizer or plant protection product.
  2. Biostimulants should in any case include information on:
    a) the name or trade name of the manufacturer of the biostimulant
    b) the name or trade name of the biostimulant
    c) the main action of the substance
    d) the active substance
    e) the amount
    f) the composition
  3. For packaged products, the information is given on the packaging or on an attached label and for unpacked products, the information is given on an accompanying document.
  4. The data cannot be removed and is clearly legible.
  5. Liquid biostimulants are provided with additional instructions regarding the storage temperature and the safety measures to be observed during storage.
  6. The statements on the labels, on the packaging and on the accompanying documents must in any case be in the Dutch language.
  7. Biostimulants are provided with instructions for use. Tighter EU regulations on the way

As of July 16, 2019, a new European Fertilizers Regulation will be in force, which will now also regulate biostimulants at European level. However, the requirements that will be set for biostimulants have yet to be worked out. It is anticipated that this will be ready and in force by 2022 at the latest.

In the case of biostimulants which (b) increase tolerance to biotic stress, they qualify as plant protection products and are covered by the EU plant protection products regulation. Namely, such biostimulants control or control diseases, pests and weeds or influence the life.