International Activities Related to Pesticides
Regulating pesticides involves many international issues and working with our regulatory partners in other countries.
Importing and Exporting Pesticides
EPA regulates both the import and export of pesticides:
- All pesticides that are intended to be used in the United States must first be registered with EPA before import.
- All registered pesticides that are exported to other countries must bear the product label approved by EPA.
- The United States is a signatory to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, Exitwhich controls trade in banned and severely restricted pesticides. Ratification activities are underway; once ratified, the PIC Convention requirements may affect the existing export procedures for listed substances.
- Pesticides that are not approved - or registered - for use in the United States may be manufactured in the United States and exported.
- FIFRA Section 17(a) requires that exporters of unregistered pesticides first obtain a statement signed by the foreign purchaser indicating the purchaser understands that such pesticide is not registered for use in the U.S. and cannot be sold in the U.S.
- The requirement is shipment-specific for a particular exporter, product and purchaser.
- To ensure that national officials responsible for the protection of health and the environment are informed of this shipment, EPA transmits a copy of the statement to the Designated National Authority (DNA) (so designated as part of the United Nations program on Prior Informed Consent) in the receiving country.
- EPA is placing the highest priority on timely notification for two categories of exported pesticides which EPA believes may be of greatest concern to countries:
- pesticides on the international list of Prior Informed Consent (PIC), Exit most of which have also been banned or severely restricted in the U.S., and
- other pesticides banned and severely restricted in the United States for health or environmental reasons, which are not on the PIC list.
It is EPA's intention to make the U.S. export notification program compatible with the international one, while meeting domestic legislative requirements. Revisions to the U.S. export notification program will be considered in the context of implementation of the PIC Agreement.
Find details and forms for Importing and exporting pesticides and devices.
Guidance on data requirements for tolerances on imported commodities in the United States and Canada.
Foreign Government Inquiries
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs responds to inquiries and requests from foreign governments regarding pesticide regulations and risk assessment processes.
- For inquiries pertaining to the international services provided by OPP, contact the OPP International Team (OPP_International_Team@epa.gov).
- For questions related to registration of pesticides, contact the appropriate registration ombudsman.
- Find information on EPA's International Visitors Program, including services not provided by EPA.
NAFTA Technical Working Group
The North American Free Trade Agreement Technical Working Group on Pesticides is a collaboration among the pesticides regulatory government agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Established in 1997 to streamline pesticide shipments between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, the primary objective of the TWG is to develop more efficient and less expensive pesticide regulation and trade among the three countries and meet the environmental, ecological and human health objectives of NAFTA. Coordination of regulatory decisionmaking reduces burden on both government and industry.
EPA and Health Canada have developed new guidance for interpreting developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) data in support of a pesticide registration. This guidance will help scientists in the EPA and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) evaluate these studies more consistently. View the guidance.
The technical working group meets periodically. See:
- Summaries of recent meetings:
NAFTA Strategic Plan 2016-2021.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
OECD Working Group on Pesticides
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 30 industrialized countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific. Through its Environment Program, OECD works to help countries harmonize the data and methods used to test and assess pesticide risks, share the work of pesticide registration and re-evaluation and help OECD governments reduce the risks associated with pesticide use.
In 1994, OECD established the Pesticide Forum, now known as the Working Group on Pesticides (WGP), to help countries cope with the increasingly burdensome workload of conducting new risk assessments for hundreds of pesticides that have been on the market for years, and assessments for new active ingredient pesticides. It is the first forum for national pesticide regulators from developed countries to discuss common issues. The strategic objectives are:
- to further enhance the high level of protection afforded to human health and the environment and minimize to the extent possible the levels of risk arising for man and the environment as a consequence of pesticides;
- to contribute to green growth in agriculture and further develop sustainable plant protection and production; and
- to strengthen public confidence in regulatory decisions.
Examples of topics we are working on with OECD include:
The following links exit the site Exit
- Managing spray drift.
- OECD Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) calculator.
- Biological pesticides.
- Minor uses of pesticides.
- Pesticide risk reduction.
Learn more about EPA's work with the OECD. Exit
United States – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council
The US – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was initiated in 2011 to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination. Under the RCC, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will continue to work with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency on a variety of projects including joint pesticide reviews, work sharing and development of information technology solutions for applicants to facilitate work flow and the processing of pest control product applications submitted to both countries. More information about the US – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council.
New RCC projects include:
- development of best practices for pesticide re-evaluation;
- development of new approaches to toxicity testing and assessment; and
- alignment of pesticide residue field trial requirements.
U.S. – Canada RCC 2016 workplan update (PDF) (6 pp, 368.22 K, About PDF)
Harmonized Product Chemistry Templates
Under the umbrella of the RCC workplan, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and EPA developed harmonized product chemistry templates for use by registrants when submitting pesticide registration packages. EPA and PMRA released the templates on June 2, 2016 and encourage applicants to begin using these templates to organize and summarize the product chemistry data for each product and/or registration package submitted to the corresponding regulatory agency. View:
- International issues and pesticide labels
- EPA international activities
- EPA international visitors program