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Emergency Authorisation for the 2020 season

The Chemicals Regulation Division of the Health & Safety Executive has issued an Emergency Authorisation (EA) for the use of Asulam for bracken control  for the 2020 season.

There are two significant difference from previous EAs:

  • The approval, applies to application from a helicopter only. Application from hand-held or ground-based equipment has not been authorised.
  • For aerial spraying the required buffer zone against surface water bodies has been increased from 50m to 90m.

The implications of these changes have been collated to support a further EA application, which was submitted to CRD on 7th April.  this application presents some new information that was not available when the original application was submitted, and it may result in some changes to the published approval.

Anyone planning to apply Asulam next season must read the terms and conditions contained in the EA Approval.  Any changes to the approval will be circulated to all subscribers to the BCG newsletter (sign up on the Updates page) and details will be circulated by other means, including social media.



Key dates for 2020

From the current EA Approval, the relevant dates for the 2020 season are:

18 May 20

Start of the Emergency Authorisation period of 120 days.

Storage, promotion, sales, and transfer authorised.

1 Jul 20

Application of Asulam can commence.


14 Sep 20

Expiry date: for sale & distribution and use of stocks.

Storage of stocks can continue, and stocks can be moved for disposal.  Asulam cannot be applied after this date.

31 Oct 20

Expiry date: for  storage and disposal of stocks.

It will be illegal to store Asulam after this date.


Asulam Product Label

To reflect the changes outlined in the draft EA approval, a revised Product Label will be issued with the Asulam containers.  This may change further, but anyone applying Asulam next season must abide by the terms of the Label. 


Additional Emergency Authorisation Application - 2020 season

An additional application was submitted to CRD on 7 April to present information that had not been available when the initial application had been submitted in July 2019.  Further information about this is in the Newsletter issued today.

The application has requested that ground-based application of Asulam be authorised and the aerial spraying buffer zone against surface water bodies remain at 50m.

The application letter can be downloaded and it is supported by 20 Annexes and Appendices, which are available from a link within the letter.


Emergency Authorisation Application - 2020 season

The application for an Emergency Authorisation for the bracken control season in 2020 was submitted on 26 July 2019.  

The full application consists of the following documents:

The documents with hyperlinks can be downloaded.  Other documents are available on request.

The draft Bracken Control Review will be considered by the members of the Bracken Control Group before being circulated.

The signed version of the Emergency Authorisation was issued on 7th April.


The Permit System - Guidance: 

All aerial spraying must be carried out under a permit issued by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) of HSE.

The application arrangements are the same as for last year: an Application Plan template must be completed that lists the jobs it is intended to carry out; CRD may need to consult conservation authorities as part of the permitting process. 

CRD is ready to start receiving and processing application plans for the 2020 aerial spraying season.

There are different Application Plan templates for the different parts of the UK and details are available here; this briefing is based on the information provided by CRD. The latest version of the  appropriate form should be used for applications.

Asulam Registration

Following the ending of the approval to use Asulam for bracken control on 31 December 2012, temporary, annual arrangements have been put in place to allow the use of Asulam for bracken control to continue. Approval has been subject to the terms set out in Emergency Authorisations granted by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) of the Health & Safety Executive.

The continued availability of Asulam cannot be guaranteed, but the Bracken Control Group is working with all parts of the bracken control community to promote the value of Asulam for the control of this invasive species.  

Asulam offers selective control of bracken and it has approval for aerial application.  These characteristics are unique to Asulam, which makes its use for bracken control very important.  Additional justification is submitted as part of the applications for an Emergency Authorisation, which can be viewed by following the link in the section above.

The support being provided by CRD, which is the relevant agency for the whole UK, is very gratefully acknowledged.


Medium Term Availability

If application of Asulam is to continue without a break, applications for Emergency Authorisations will need to be submitted by the Bracken Control Group, each year until registration of the product is achieved.


Long Term Availability

The owners of Asulam, UPL Europe Ltd (UPL), have applied for the re-registration of Asulam in the EU for bracken control.  This is an expensive process and requires an investment of many £100,000s.

The re-registration process takes a long time and the latest indications are that we may not hear the outcome of the application until 2022.