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).

Report on the questionnaire on Minor Uses work

In order to assess how Member States deal with minor uses, the MUCF organised in 2017 a survey of EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland through a questionnaire. How do Member States organise minor uses work? What are the criteria used by Member States to define minor uses? How much do Member States charge for a minor use application and do they require efficacy data? You will find answers to these and other questions in the report here.

Second Stakeholder Advisory Forum

The Second Stakeholder Advisory Forum of the MUCF (6 February 2018, in Brussels) was well attended with around 50 stakeholders from an important diversity of Member States and organizations. The report is now available here. Read more about MUCF activities, achievements and the way forward, as well as expectations, needs and experience of two Member State's representatives and of (co)-chairs of two Commodity Expert Groups, harmonization for the definition of minor uses and for crop grouping, and acceptance of non-EU residue trials.

Autumn Minor Uses meetings

The next autumn meetings of the Horizontal Expert Group and of some Commodity Expert Groups will be hosted by our Austrian Minor Uses colleagues in Vienna! The meetings will take place from 10 to 12 October 2018. The MUCF is in the process of defining which Commodity Expert Groups will meet there. More information will follow.

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

Meetings organised by MUCF

10 to 12 October 2018, Vienna, Austria
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and some Commodity Expert Groups
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4 to 5 April 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the "Minor Uses Steering Group"
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13 to 15 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and Commodity Expert Groups
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6 February 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Second Stakeholder Advisory Forum
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22 November 2017, Brussels, Belgium
Meeting of the "Minor Uses Steering Group"
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1 to 3 November 2017, Dublin, Ireland
Meeting of the Horizontal Expert Group and some Commodity Expert Groups
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18 to 19 October 2017, Obernai, France
Hops Commodity Expert Group meeting
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Meetings attended by MUCF

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


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