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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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National Fertiliser Database: What you need to know about new rules from Sept 1st

National Fertiliser Database

From September 1st, 2023, a number of legislative requirements are set to come into play following the launch of the National Fertiliser Database.

The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, has today (Wednesday, August 2nd), confirmed the launch of the National Fertiliser Database.

It is now open for registration of professional fertiliser end users (primarily farmers and others that use fertilisers as part of their work) and fertiliser economic operators (e.g. importers, merchants etc. that sell fertilisers).

From the above date, any farmer or other professional fertiliser end user who wishes to purchase fertiliser, including lime, must be registered as a professional fertiliser end user with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.

This is a “very straightforward and simple” process whereby farmers, or their agents, can register now using AgFood, the statement from the DAFM added.

Importantly, those farmers involved in the import of fertiliser, farm-to-farm transfers, and/or retail sale of fertiliser must also register as Fertiliser Economic Operators on AgFood.

Also from September 1st, all fertiliser transactions along the supply chain must be recorded.

This includes fertiliser dispatched from merchants’ premises to farms, moving from farm-to-farm or imported.

Merchants can enter this data manually through the department’s digital online service, AgFood, or through an Application Programming Interface that facilitates automatic upload of data from retailers’ IT systems directly to the National Fertiliser Database.

Key dates 

The timeline for the implementation of the provisions in the legislation is as follows:

Date  

Provision

 

24 July

 

 

The day on which Part 3 of the Veterinary Medicinal Products, Medicated Feed and Fertilisers Regulation Act 2023 came into operation
Registration opened for Professional Fertiliser End Users (Farmers, Landscape Gardeners, sport’s club etc.)
Registration opens for Fertiliser Economic Operators (manufacturers/blenders, merchants, importers etc.)
1 September

 

Date from which a person registered on the National Fertiliser Database must submit information to the Minister for the purposes of section 7D (2) of the Fertilisers Feeding Stuffs and Mineral Mixtures Act 1955 and 2023

(National Fertiliser Database Regulations Statutory Instrument No 378 of 2023)

Legislative requirements on the purchase/sale/import of fertiliser come into force.

The date from which it is an offence to sell or purchase fertiliser without being registered.

Date from which imports into the State must be notified to the National Fertiliser Database (within 72 hours of import).

Date from which all data on fertiliser transactions is to be recorded.

14 September Declaration Date of Closing Stocks for Professional Fertiliser End Users
30 September Declaration Date of Closing Stocks for Fertiliser Economic Operators
15 October Date by which Professional Fertiliser End Users and Fertiliser Economic Operators must submit closing stocks, including NIL stock where relevant, to the National Fertiliser Database.
15 December Date by which Fertiliser Economic Operators must submit September, October, and November 2023 sales data to the National Fertiliser Database.
15 January 2024 

 

Date by which Fertiliser Economic Operators must submit December 2023 sales data to the National Fertiliser Database. All monthly sales data from 1 December 2023 are required to be submitted by the 15th of the subsequent month

 

As a transitional measure to facilitate IT development by fertiliser retailers, the September, October, and November 2023 sales data must be returned by December 15th, 2023.

However, from December 1st, 2023, monthly data must be uploaded to the database by the 15th day of the subsequent month.

Act

Its launch coincides with the Veterinary Medicinal Products, Medicated Feed and Fertilisers Regulation Act 2023 becoming law on July 11th, 2023.

This act provides for the establishment of a National Fertiliser Database (NFD) and related provisions.

According to the DAFM, the NFD will provide for accurate tracking of fertiliser sales and will assist with the regulation of the industry.

This will, its statement reads, contribute to the national targets to reduce fertiliser use and should encourage improved nutrient use efficiency.

Each farmer will be able to view and download their records from the NFD if they wish, allowing them to easily verify their compliance with voluntary schemes or regulatory limits.

The NFD will “significantly reduce” the existing reporting burden for farmers availing of the Nitrates Derogation, according to the DAFM.

By minimising the reporting burden, the database will also benefit farmers who wish to participate in Eco-Scheme actions relating to fertiliser, or the use of lime, from 2024 onwards.

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