* By Marios Mavrogiannos
The new European Regulation on Lubricating Products (FPR - Regulation (EU) 2019/1009) will enter into force from July 2022, replacing Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003. The new Regulation introduces new requirements for lubricating products and extends its scope to organic fertilizers, organo-metallic fertilizers, nutrient media, biostimulators and other products. The Regulation also harmonises European rules for products derived from organic waste and by-products, and provides rules for the recovery of nutrients as secondary raw materials. With all these provisions, the Regulation contributes significantly to the European goals for the Circular Economy.
From July 2022, producers will have to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the regulation before marking their products with the CE marking. As of February 2020, the European Commission has informed CEN with a relevant standardization request in support of the new Regulation. The request concerned the development of European Standards and Technical Specifications (TS), concerning analytical methods, which will be used by fertilizer producers to confirm compliance with the requirements of the Regulation. The deliverables based on the standardisation request (SR) will ensure full harmonisation of the European Single Market by giving producers access to the CE marking, and will play an essential role in promoting the use of organic and organic waste fertilisers. These specifications will provide the methods of analysis for the evaluation of safety and environmental parameters, such as the identification of pathogens and the identification of contaminants.
The standardization request was structured with a two-phase approach. In the first phase, the Technical Specifications (TS) will be developed which will describe the control/ analysis methods, which in the 2nd phase will be validated through inter-laboratory studies will be transformed into European Standards (ENs). As of February 2022, as part of phase one, CEN has published 82 Technical Specifications, which will allow fertiliser producers to prepare for their compliance with the FPR Regulation. This publication is a milestone, which is the result of the excellent work carried out by more than 300 experts, in 15 Working Groups, divided into 3 Technical Committees!
These specifications were published by the CEN/TC 223 'Soil improvers and growing media' standardization committees (secretariat NEN - Netherlands), CEN/TC 260 'Fertilisers and liming material' (SECRETARIAT DIN - Germany), and CEN/TC 455 'Plant biostimulants' (AFNOR Secretariat - France). The European standards, which will follow the technical specifications, are under preparation and are expected to be published in 2024 and 2025.
It should be noted that Cyprus actively participated in the above project through our National Representative, Mr. Evangelos Evangelou, who is an Agronomist and Technical Director of Lambrou Agro Ltd. Mr. Evangelou participated specifically in the Technical Committee CEN/TC 455 'Plant biostimulants' and in the WG2 Working Group "Claims", representing the positions of our country and providing significant know-how. For more information on the Technical Specifications you can contact the Cyprus Organization for Standardization (CYS).
* Marios Mavrogiannos is a Chemical Engineer and works as a Standardization Officer at CYS.