EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF)

Because of the extensive data packages required for authorization to market plant protection products, growers face increasing difficulties in gaining authorization for “minor uses”.  Minor uses of pesticides are uses on niche crops with a high economic value for farmers, but usually of low economic interest for the agro-pesticide industry. This leads to a lack of authorized products on the market for farmers to use on these crops which in turn can lead to illegal uses or to loss of crop production. These crops include most vegetables, fruit, nurseries, flowers, forest trees and some arable crops. It is estimated that overall they represent more than € 70 billion per year, which equates to 22% of the total EU plant production value.

To address this problem in a more coherent way the European Commission (EC) has established the EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF). The Facility started as of 1st September 2015.

The mission of the Facility is 'to enable farmers in the EU to produce high quality crops by filling minor uses gaps through efficient collaboration to improve availability of chemical and non-chemical tools within an integrated pest management (IPM) framework’.

Jointly funded, initially, by the EU and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands, the Facility is hosted by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) in Paris. 

The Coordination Facility liaises with all Member States, growers associations and other organizations active internationally in the field of minor uses, such as OECD and IR-4 project. The Coordination Facility stimulates and supports further harmonization e.g. in relation to crop group and pest group definitions and is in the process of developing guidance documents.

The Coordination Facility is maintaining the European Minor Uses Database (EUMUDA) as a key structure to identify minor uses gaps, share information on them and cooperate to find solutions. The launch of the new EUMUDA took place on 28 June 2017.

The Coordination Facility is working on the development of non-chemical and IPM routes to solve minor use problems together with Commodity Expert Groups. In that respect the Coordination Facility will establish a strong link with research networks on IPM (C-IPM ERANET).

Long-term funding of the MUCF

The MUCF is initially funded for a period of 3 years by the European Commission and the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands. This financing will end in April 2018, when the grant agreement for the fund expires. However, it is clear that minor uses problems will not all be resolved in three years. A long-term planning and a strategy how other Member States can contribute, has been prepared. For more information on the long-term funding, click here

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Minor Uses and the REFIT

The REFIT programme (Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme) is organised by the European Commission to see if existing legislation, covering plant protection products (Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009) and residues (Regulation (EC) No 396/2005), is still fit for purpose, and to improve existing EU legislation. The Commission has launched an evaluation study and a contractor has started work. Public consultation and online survey of stakeholders are now open. The questionnaire has been put online in November 2017. The final report from the consultant should be available by end of May 2018. More information on the REFIT can be found here.

The MUCF is involved in the REFIT as it will complete the online survey. The MUCF has already gathered input for the REFIT from minor uses experts during expert meetings.

Meetings organised by MUCF

13 to 15 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and Commodity Expert Groups
6 February 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Second Stakeholder Advisory Forum
22 November 2017, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the "Minor Uses Steering Group"
1 to 3 November 2017, Dublin, Ireland
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and some Commodity Expert Groups
18 to 19 October 2017, Obernai, France
Hops Commodity Expert Group meeting

Meetings attended by MUCF

7 to 8 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
ECPA- ECCA- Crop Protection European Regulatory Conference
30 November to 1 December 2017, Barcelona, Spain
Southern European Crop Protection Conference 2017
23 November 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands
R&D of Agri products conference
24 to 25 October 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia
21st Central European Regulation Forum (CEUREG)
23 to 25 October 2017, Basel, Switzerland
Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting

See all our meetings