In June 2007, the APVMA released the Methyl bromide final review report and regulatory decision. The APVMA found that the use of methyl bromide products in accordance with current label instructions may have an unintended effect that is harmful to the environment.
However, the APVMA was satisfied that the labels of all methyl bromide products could be varied in such a way that the continued use of methyl bromide products would not be likely to have an unintended effect that is harmful to the environment.
In June 2007, the APVMA board decided to:
- vary product labels with general fumigation uses to allow such fumigation for QPS and approved critical use exemption (CUE) situations only
- vary product labels with in-field plant-bed/turf soil fumigation and stored soil/compost/hay fumigation uses to allow such use for QPS and approved CUE situations only
- vary product labels with only in-field horticultural-crop soil fumigation uses to allow such use for QPS and approved CUE situations only
- vary all labels to include the direction that recapture is recommended, where feasible
- allow a 24-month phase-out period, consistent with the Montreal Protocol, for stock bearing old labels.
The APVMA will continue a project to see whether low-dose variable concentration and time options (flexible CT) are feasible and acceptable to the Australian quarantine authorities. It will liaise with any registrant willing to submit an application for flexible CT products to be assessed for approval onto their methyl bromide product label.
The APVMA will also keep a watching brief on developments in recapture technology and liaise with the peak fumigators group on developments in the economics and logistics of its possible implementation as a registration requirement. The APVMA proposes to monitor any changes in the Australian threshold limit value for methyl bromide and any implications they may have for mandatory degassing and/or recapture immediately after fumigation.