Spray drift

Spray drift management


The possibility of off-target spray drift accompanying the application of pesticides is a concern both to the community and the agricultural industry, for whom it is a constant challenge to find ways to minimise it more effectively. The APVMA is responsible for ensuring that off-target pesticide spray drift does not harm human health, the environment or Australia’s international trade.

Since 2010 the APVMA has been implementing a policy known as the Operating Principles in Relation to Spray Drift Risk. To date, this policy has been a mandatory consideration applied in the assessment of all new unique agricultural chemical products (that is, item 1 or 2 application types) that are labelled for use outdoors and can be applied as sprays or dusts (with some exceptions).

Depending on the outcomes of specific product assessments, the policy may mean products will require mandatory label instructions that include:

The APVMA is currently conducting a review of the policy prior to expanding its applicability to other application types and the reconsideration of existing products. This review is aiming to identify and implement practical improvements, operationalise the drift reduction scheme and incorporate more efficient processes into the policy. Public consultation will be a key factor in any policy revision.

Background information

The information contained within the resources listed below that is relevant to the preparation of an application for registration and the APVMA’s assessment of registration applications will be updated and incorporated in the APVMA Regulatory Guideline at the completion of the review of the current policy. If you are preparing an application and require assistance to determine what information you may need to include with your application please contact the Spray Drift Project Manager in the first instance. More detailed enquiries may be addressed through a pre-application assistance application

Reporting spray drift incidents

State and territory governments are responsible for addressing incidents of off-target spray drift. The following information will help you identify the process for reporting a spray drift incident in your state or territory:

General chemical use information

Many industry representative groups and state and territory governments produce general guidance for applying agricultural chemical products safely. These can be used for reference, but are not necessarily reflective of mandatory legal requirements unless specifically stated.

Industry representative groups

State and territory governments


Dave Rumbold
Spray drift project manager

Phone: +61 2 6210 4744
Fax: +61 2 6210 4776
Email: spraydrift@apvma.gov.au

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