Definition of terms

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Name Description Related terms
early post-emergence

For application timing, during the cotyledonary growth phase, after the crop or weed seedlings emerge.


Climate within a plant community.


The study of the relationship between a plant or animal (or populations of plants or animals) and its (their) surroundings.

The study of environmental factors (components) that influence the density and distribution (occurrence in a place) of plants, animals or pests.

economic threshold

An economic threshold is a point below which the pest population and the damage it causes can be economically tolerated and above which it cannot be tolerated. The decision to use a pest control method relates to factors such as the pest numbers and the potential loss that they may cause within a crop or agricultural system.


A community of organisms interacting with one another and with the environment.

A biological community and associated abiotic factors.


The study of toxic effects of environmental factors, including chemicals, on naturally occurring populations in various ecosystems.

The field of science dealing with the study of adverse effects of chemicals, natural products and physical agents on populations and communities of plants, animals and microorganisms as they occur and are organised in nature.


A veterinary chemical product that is administered or applied to an animal by any means for the control, treatment or prevention of infestations with arthropod parasites.


Of, or relating to, soil.

edible tissues

The tissues of animal origin that can enter the food chain and include, but are not limited to, muscle, injection site muscle, liver, kidney, fat, skin with fat in natural proportions, whole eggs and milk.


The ability of an agricultural or veterinary chemical product to perform according to label claims when used according to the label instructions.

Efficacy criteria

The efficacy criteria are a set of criteria that are set out in s 5B of the Code. Generally speaking,

Aa chemical product meets the efficacy criteria if use of the product, in accordance with any instructions approved, or to be approved, by the APVMA for the product, is or would be, effective according to the criteria determined by the APVMA for the product.

The efficacy criteria may be considered when the APVMA makes decisions about:

  • an application to register a chemical product—s. 14(1)(c)
  • varying relevant particulars and conditions for an approval or registration—s. 29(1)(c), s. 29A(2)(b)
  • affirming athe registration of a chemical n active constituent approval, product registration—s. 34(1)(b)—and label approval at the conclusion of a reconsideration
  • preparing a standard for a listed registration—s. 8V(a)
  • considering the use of protected information when the information does not favour the applicant or holder—s. 34J(4)(b)
  • suspending or cancelling a registration for a chemical product registration—s. 41(1)(b)
  • recalling a chemical product—s. 102(1)(a)
  • issuing a permit to do something that is otherwise prohibited by the Agvet Code or another Commonwealth law —s. 112(2)(d), s. 112A(2)(a)
  • suspending or cancelling a such a permit —s. 118(1)(b), s. 119(1)(b).

For a full definition of the efficacy criteria, see section 5B of the Agvet Code.

The efficacy criteria also play a role in the provisions that limit the kind of information that the APVMA can use in making certain decisions: see ss 34H and 34J(4)(b).

efficacy evaluation

Field or laboratory testing of an agvet chemical product for its ability to meet the label claims. Wherever possible, internationally harmonised test procedures and methods should be used so that results can be accepted by registration authorities in other countries.


Outward flow.

electronic signature

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Of a person, means the unique identification of the person in an electronic form approved by the APVMA.

eligible law

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to a jurisdiction, means a law, or a provision of a law, of that jurisdiction that is declared by a law of that jurisdiction to be an eligible law for the purposes of [the Agvet] Code.


Any toxic effect on the embryo or foetus resulting from prenatal exposure, including structural or functional abnormalities or postnatal manifestation of such effects.


The act of appearing, as when a young plant breaks through the surface of the soil or when an insect comes out of an egg or pupa.


The time when the first leaves of a plant come through the ground after germination.

The time when an insect or bird hatches out of its egg or an adult insect emerges out of the pupal case.

emergency permit

A permit issued by the APVMA that allows use of a product or constituent arising from an emergency in which there is a genuinely believed need for the use of the product or constituent.

emergency use

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code and r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations:

In relation to a chemical product or an active constituent, means a use of the product or constituent in the genuine belief that the use is required because of an emergency or impending emergency.


Seedlings that have recently appeared above ground, or plants that grow out of and above water.


Standing above and out of water, as the stems and leaves of some aquatic weeds.

emersed plant

A rooted or anchored aquatic plant adapted to grow with most of its leaf and stem tissue above the water surface and not lowering or rising with the water level.


A substance that causes vomiting.

emulsifiable concentrate

A homogeneous solution of active constituent dissolved in an organic solvent with emulsifiers added for dilution with water to form in emulsion prior to application.

emulsifiable granule

A granular formulation, which may contain water-insoluble formulants, to be applied as an oil-in-water emulsion of the active constituent(s) after disintegration in water.

The APVMA type code for an emulsifiable granule is EG.

emulsifiable powder

A powder formulation, which may contain water-insoluble formulants, to be applied as an oil-in-water emulsion of the active constituent(s) after dispersion in water.

The APVMA formulation type code for an emulsifiable powder is EP.


Emulsification occurs when oil or solvent droplets containing a dissolved active ingredient are suspended in water (the secondary carrier), giving a milky appearance.


A surface-active substance that promotes the production or maintenance of a fine dispersion of one liquid in another (an emulsion).

emulsifying agent

A fluid consisting of fine droplets of one liquid dispersed evenly throughout another liquid (oil in water or water in oil), with active constituent in either phase. If an emulsion is unstable, the two components separate into layers; if the emulsion is stable, they do not separate. Generally, the smaller the droplets in the emulsion, the more stable the emulsion will be.

emulsion for seed treatment

A stable emulsion for application to the seed, either directly or after dilution.

The APVMA formulation type code for an emulsion for seed treatment is ES.

emulsion, oil-in-water

A fluid, heterogeneous formulation consisting of a solution of pesticide in organic liquid dispersed as fine globules in a continuous water phase.

The APVMA formulation type code for an oil-in-water emulsion is EW.

emulsion, water-in-oil

A fluid, heterogeneous formulation consisting of a dispersion of fine globules of water in a continuous organic liquid phase, which may be diluted with oil or other organic solvent.


Stereoisomers that are not superimposable mirror images. Outside a chiral environment they possess identical physicochemical properties, except that they rotate the plane of polarised light in opposite directions and by equal amounts. Enantiomers have the same molecular formula, but differ in the spatial arrangement of atoms.

encapsulated formulation

A pesticide enclosed in tiny capsules of thin polyvinyl or other materials intended to control the release of the active constituent and thereby extending the period of activity of the pesticide.

encapsulated granule

A granule with a coating of some synthetic (plastic) substance designed to prevent its action until it reaches its target.


A method of formulating pesticides in which the active constituent is encased in a material (usually plastic), resulting in sustained pesticidal release and decreased hazard.

End point
end-of-shelf-life titre

The potency/concentration of a substance or a number of substances at the end of an assigned shelf life which has been set for a product.

end-use product
end-use products

An observable or measurable biological event used as an indicator of the effect of a chemical on a biological system (cell, organism, organ, etc.).


A set of actions to achieve compliance by the regulated community with regulatory requirements or standards. Government enforcement usually includes activities like investigations, negotiations and legal actions.


Of, or originating in, the intestinal tract.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Includes all aspects of the surroundings of human beings, whether affecting them as individuals or in their social groupings.

The definition in the Agvet Code would include, for example, the place where a plant, animal or pest lives, its surroundings, including water, soil, air, plants and animals.

Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC)

A council that existed from 2001 to 2011 and replaced the Australia and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council. It was replaced by the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) in 2011. The purpose of the council was to ensure that 'people enjoy the benefit of equivalent protection from air, water or soil pollution and from noise wherever they live in Australia and that decisions of the business community are not distorted and markets are not fragmented by variations between participating jurisdictions in relation to the adoption or implementation of major environment protection measures.'

environmental health

Those aspects of human health determined by physical, chemical, biological and social factors in the environment. Environmental health practice covers the assessment, correction, control and prevention of environmental factors that can adversely affect health, as well as the enhancement of those aspects of the environment that can improve human health.

environmental studies

Scientific studies carried out to determine whether a proposed chemical application is likely to have any adverse effect on the natural environment and, if so, what and to what extent.

Studies designed to avoid unacceptable environmental damage from chemicals.


Proteins that catalyse biochemical reactions in cells.

enzymes and vitamins

A widespread temporary increase in the incidence of an infectious disease.


The study of factors affecting the outbreak of disease, the spread of infection and how diseases affect populations.

The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of the study to the control of health problems.


The outside layer of cells or skin of plants and animals, including humans.


A response of plants—due to the disturbance of the normal growth pattern—that produces twisting, cupping or curling of the plant parts.

An abnormal downward-curving growth or movement of a leaf caused by more rapid growth of cells on the upper than the lower side of the leaf stalk.


A plant that grows upon another plant (or on a building, telegraph wire or other structure), which it uses as a mechanical support, but not as a source of food.

epiphytotic disease

A disease that suddenly, widely and destructively affects plants in a locality.


Epizootiologig is the sum of the factors controlling the occurrence of a disease or pathogen of animals


Have the same number of moles (chemistry).


Of, or pertaining to, horses.


A comparative assessment of the full impurity profile of an active constituent produced by different manufacturers against a profile of the active constituent used in the first approval of that active constituent. If the impurity profiles are similar, the active constituent from the new sources can be considered equivalent to the original active constituent.


A pesticide that will eradicate a pest and not merely act as a preventative or protectant.

eradicant fungicide

A chemical or physical agent that destroys a fungus after its establishment within a host plant.


Complete elimination of a pest from an area.


The vulnerability of the soil to erosion.


The potential ability of an agent to cause erosion of soil or other material.

established plants

Plants that have passed beyond the seedling stage.

established standard

From s. 3 and ss. 8U(7) of the Agvet Code:

A standard made by the APVMA in relation to a listed chemical product is the established standard for the product.


Used in reference to a 'registered establishment' (eg an abattoir, packing house, factory, cool store) registered under the Export Regulations.


A group of organic compounds that can be made by condensing an acid with an alcohol. Ester forms of herbicides are generally insoluble in water and are used because they are not so readily washed off plant surfaces as are water-soluble forms such as their related potassium, sodium or amine salts.

esterified vegetable oils

Oils that are produced by reacting vegetable oil with alcohol and then blending it with a high level of non-ionic surfactant. The physical and chemical properties of esterified vegetable oils are quite different to that of vegetable oil. They have claims of superior wax-modifying characteristics and a superior penetrating ability.

estimated daily intake (EDI)

The estimate of chronic dietary exposure to residues of veterinary chemicals present in edible commodities sourced from treated animals. The estimate is calculated using the median residues concentrations and standard daily food basket.

estimated environmental concentration (EEC)

The estimated environmental concentration is derived from set parameters, such as the concentration in water if a still water body (or soil) of 15 cm depth was sprayed at the label rate, unless evidence (use pattern, research, etc.) indicates otherwise (eg the product is incorporated to a depth of 5 cm).


A network of organisations in Europe that has the objective of establishing a system of traceability of chemical measurements and the promotion of good chemical practice.

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO)

An intergovernmental organisation responsible for European cooperation in plant protection in the European and Mediterranean region. Under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), EPPO is the regional plant protection organisation for Europe.

European Medicines Agency (EMEA)

The European body that coordinates the evaluation, supervision and marketing authorisation of medicinal products for both human and veterinary use throughout the European Union. The agency includes the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP).

European pharmacopoeia

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

Means the book of that name published for the European Pharmacopoeia Commission.


The process of increasing nutrient concentrations in a water body, leading to a greater density of aquatic plants and accumulation of organic substances, and eventually resulting in the drying up of the water body.


To form a gas and disappear into the air; to vaporise.


The process of a solid or liquid turning into a gas.

evidential burden

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to a matter, means the burden of adducing or pointing to evidence that suggests a reasonable possibility that the matter exists or does not exist.

evidential material

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Means any of the following:

  1. a thing with respect to which an offence against an agvet law has been committed or is suspected, on reasonable grounds, to have been committed
  2. a thing with respect to which an agvet penalty provision has been contravened or is suspected, on reasonable grounds, to have been contravened
  3. a thing that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting will afford evidence as to the commission of such an offence or contravention of such an agvet penalty provision
  4. a thing that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting is intended to be used for the purpose of committing such an offence or contravening such an agvet penalty provision.
excluded organism

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code.

Means an organism that is declared by the [Agvet Code] regulations to be an excluded organism.

executive officer

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Of a body corporate means a person, by whatever name called and whether or not a director of the body, who is concerned in, or takes part in, the management of the body.


An exemption to a policy, rule, regulation, law or standard.

existing active constituent

An active constituent that has been approved by the APVMA or entered into the Record of Approved Active Constituents for Chemical Products.


The segmented external skeleton of an insect.

expected yield

The quantity of material or product that would be produced at an intermediate or final stage of manufacture. This includes allowing for unavoidable losses (including moisture) under normal but controlled manufacturing practice, and allowing for any deliberate over-fill of product into its unit containers. The yield may be varied from batch to batch to allow for factors such as actual moisture content where there is a significant variable.

experimental animals

Animals (usually rats, mice, rabbits and dogs) bred specifically for animal testing of xenobiotic agents.


A person who:

  • has training and experience in the subject area, resulting in superior knowledge in the field
  • has access to relevant information
  • has the ability to process and effectively use the information
  • is recognised by his or her peers or those conducting a study as qualified to provide judgments about assumptions, models, and model parameters at the level of detail required.
Expert Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (EAGAR)

The Australian Government-appointed specialist committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council that existed in the Department of Health and Ageing, whose role is to provide advice on antimicrobial resistance to Australian Government agencies.

expired air resuscitation

A form of first aid given to a person who has stopped breathing in order to get the person breathing again. Commonly involves forcing air into the person's lungs through mouth-to-mouth breathing or the use of a hand pump.

expiry date

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code: In relation to the contents of a container, means the month and year after which the contents should not be used.

export animal feed interval (EAFI)

The minimum period that should elapse between the application of an agricultural chemical product to a crop or pasture and grazing or harvesting of the crop or pasture as stockfood for animals intended to be slaughtered for export. Where a treated commodity may be either fed to animals destined for export or exported as a commodity, it may be necessary to determine both an EAFI and an export harvest interval.

export grazing interval (EGI)

The minimum period that should elapse between the application of a chemical product to a crop or pasture and the slaughter of animals for export, where those animals have continuously grazed the treated crop or pasture from the time the chemical was applied. There may be some situations where the required EGI is unsuited to normal animal, crop or pasture management. It may be necessary to determine and observe an export slaughter interval where animals are moved to untreated feed, to enable management of tissue residues for trade.

export harvest interval (EHI)

The minimum time that should elapse between the last application of an agricultural or veterinary chemical product to a crop or animal and the harvesting or collecting of the commodity for export.

Where a treated crop commodity may be either exported, or used in Australia as a stockfeed for animals destined for export (eg wheat grain), it may be necessary to determine both an EHI and an export animal feed Interval.

export interval (EI)

Export intervals are advisory (non-statutory) times that should be observed, allowing exporters of food commodities to meet the residues standards of a trading partner. They relate to the time between the last administration or feeding of a chemical product to livestock, or the last application to crops, and the slaughter or harvesting of those livestock or crops for export. Export intervals are proposed in conjunction with grower or producer industries and the agvet chemical industry. The EIs include export slaughter intervals (ESI), export harvest intervals (EHI), export animal feed intervals (EAFI), and export grazing intervals (EGI).

export permit

A type of permit issued by the APVMA that allows unregistered agvet products to be supplied (exported) to a person outside of Australia.

export slaughter interval (ESI)

The minimum period of time that should elapse between the last treatment of an animal with a veterinary chemical product and the slaughter of the animal for export, OR the minimum period of time that should elapse after the removal of grazing livestock to clean pasture or feed and slaughter, where the livestock have been grazing the crop or pasture prior to expiry of the export animal feed interval.


The concentration or amount of a pesticide (or agent) that reaches a target organism, system, or (sub) population in a specific frequency for a defined duration.

exposure assessment

Evaluation of the exposure of an organism, system or (sub)population to an agent (and its derivatives).

exposure pathway

The course a chemical or physical agent takes from a source to an exposed organism. An exposure pathway describes a unique mechanism by which an individual or population is exposed to chemicals or physical agents at or originating from a site. Each exposure pathway includes a source, or release from a source, an exposure point and an exposure route. If the exposure point differs from the source, a transport or exposure medium (eg air or media)—in cases of inter-media transfer—is also indicated.

exposure route

The way a chemical enters an organism after contact (eg by ingestion, inhalation or dermal absorption).

exposure standard

An airborne concentration of a particular substance in a person's breathing zone, as set by an Australian standard (or, if no Australian standard exists, an overseas standard).


A herbicide modifier that alters biochemical processes in the soil or in the plant to increase the duration of weed control.

extraneous substance

An impurity arising from any source extraneous to the manufacturing process.


For dose—response curves, an estimate of the response at a point outside the range of the experimental data.

Extrapolation also refers to the estimation of a response in different species, or by different routes than that used in the experimental study of interest.


Any material or substance formed inside a plant or animal and discharged through a natural opening or an injury. It is commonly used to describe a liquid discharge from diseased tissue.

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