Pollinis v. European Commission

No description
February 16, 2023
Not judged
European Union, Luxembourg

Environmental NGOs
European Commission
No description

Boscalid, Fungicide, SDHI
Internal review with the European Commission to revoke the extension of the authorization of boscalid
Court of Justice of the European Union of Luxembourg, European Union
No description

On 16 February 2023, Pollinis filed an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to challenge the extension, for the fifth consecutive year, of the marketing authorisation for boscalid, resulting from Commission Implementing Regulation No 2022/708 of 5 May 2022.

Pollinis had submitted on 5 July 2022 an internal review request to the European Commission to revoke the extension of the authorisation of boscalid, an SDHI fungicide sold by BASF, whose initial approval expired in 2018. As the Commission did not respond, the association was able to refer the matter to the CJEU. The action is based on the Aarhus Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006, Article 10), which gives environmental NGOs the right to ask for an internal review of an administrative act when it is contrary to environmental law, and, in the event of refusal, to take the matter to court.

Boscalid was approved in 2008 for ten years, the maximum period. In 2018, it was re-evaluated by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) for possible renewal of its approval. However, delays "for reasons beyond the control of the applicants" have hampered this review process, leading the Agency to extend its approval year after year.

This system of extensions stems from an interpretation of Article 17 of the Regulation on the placing of plant protection products on the market, which allows for a temporary extension of a marketing authorisation when the evaluation necessary for the renewal of the authorisation could not be carried out in time, and if the delay is due to "reasons beyond the control of the applicant" (Art. 17). According to Julia Thibord, Head of Strategic Litigation at Pollinis: "the extensions provided for in Regulation 1107/2009 are a transitional measure, and can in no case be used successively and endlessly, in particular with regard to the precautionary principle".