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Emergency Authorisation for the 2019 season

On 18th April 2019, the documents were issued to grant the Emergency Authorisation (EA) for the use of asulam for bracken control in 2019.  The relevant dates for the 2019 season are:


Start of the Emergency Authorisation period of 120 days.

Storage, promotion, sales, and transfer authorised.


Application of Asulam can commence.



First expiry date: for sale & distribution of stocks.

Storage and use of stocks can continue.


Final expiry date: for disposal, storage and use of stocks.

It will be illegal to apply or store Asulam after this date.


Emergency Authorisation Application - 2019 season

The application for an Emergency Authorisation for the bracken control season in 2019 was submitted on 16th July 2018, and it was considered at the September meeting of the Expert Committee on Pesticides.

The Covering Letter, the Application Form and the Supporting Information can be downloaded.


Emergency Authorisation Approval - 2019 season

The EA approval documents are available to view: covering letter, and the Notice of Authorisation.  The Label submitted to CRD in March 2015 is also available to view. 

  • The covering Letter introduces two changes to the label, the second of which states that 'Aerial application must only be made via helicopter.'
  • This change is reflected on page six of the Notice of Authorisation, as a new entry (no. 8) under 'Other Specific Restrictions'.

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 Directorate of the Health & Safety Executive (CRD).

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 2019.

The Permit System - Guidance: 

A new permit system was introduced in June 2012. Full details are available to download.

The message for landowners and land managers is clear:

  • apply early to avoid delays that might result from the introduction of the new system.  
  • contact an aerial spraying contractor as soon as possible. 

Permit System - Guidance 

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

CRD has issued guidance that is available to download from the CRD website.

The Application Plan templates for applying asulam to bracken have been revised for 2017.  The latest versions are available below:

CRD does not require new forms to be submitted for applications that have already been made, but the latest versions of the forms should be used for future applications.

The change amends the table in Appendix A to ask for the amount of product (Asulox) to be applied to be recorded in litres rather than kg.  In all cases, the amount to record is the total amount to be applied for that job (rather than the rate of application).

There is a separate form to complete to amend a previously approved Application Plan


The Permit System - 'Update' template 

This is the text of a message issued by CRD on 11 July 2016.

"The wording in the aerial spraying ‘update’ template may not be clear enough to explain how this procedure is intended to work.

In cases where either the application of asulam failed to reduce the canopy cover to any noticeable degree or did not take place as planned in the previous year (and the template does only refer to the previous year), CRD will accept applications to update the associated permit.

This is only for jobs permitted in the previous year. Any permits issued two years ago (or earlier) will not be updated, and completely new applications will be required."