Regulatory Update #279

5 October 2018

New 2,4-D label instructions to reduce spray drift incidents

We are taking proactive action for the 2018 summer spraying season to reduce the likelihood of spray drift damage.

As of 3 October 2018, the new 2,4-D label instructions came into effect and old labels have been suspended. Users of 2,4-D must comply with the new label instructions, even if they are using products with the old labels.

These changes affect about 220 products, and the new instructions for use include:

  • a requirement not to spray in inversion conditions and additional information on recognising inversion conditions
  • downwind mandatory no spray zones for both aquatic and terrestrial off target vegetation (including sensitive crops, gardens, landscaping vegetation, protected native vegetation or protected animal habitat)
  • a requirement to use nozzles producing droplets no smaller than the Very Coarse spray quality category
  • mandatory record keeping requirements, and
  • advisory statements about spray application over summer.

The new requirements do not change or restrict other aspects of the currently approved use patterns and should not affect availability of the product.

Products containing 2,4-D continue to be under review by the APVMA.

Update to e-label applications

To streamline our label assessment processes, we’ve made changes to our e-label Online Services Portal. It means industry will have outcomes to their label applications sooner using a simplified system, and the community will have access to innovative agvet products earlier.

The changes include:

  • Increased upload limits
  • Updated attachment functions
  • Addition of ‘Not Applicable’ checkboxes
  • Removal of First Aid Instructions Safety Directions (FAISD) search facility form
  • Addition of FAISD button
  • Updates to the list of Modes of Action elements

Addition of consent elements.

Tender for external scientific reviewers

We have released a Request for Tender (RFT) 1819-12 on AusTender for External Scientific Review Services. We are looking for external scientific reviewers who can support the APVMA by evaluating the safety and effectiveness of agricultural and veterinary medicines intended for sale.

The RFT will close at 2pm (Canberra time) on 1 November 2018.

All queries relating to the RFT should be referred to the contact officer:

Seeking input - draft Risk Assessment Manuals

We have released the draft risk assessment manuals for Residues, Environment and Human Health for public comment. These documents reflect current practice in each assessment area at the APVMA and are intended as guidance for APVMA staff stakeholders, industry and the general public. The consultation period is now open and will close on 1 November 2018.

Recruiting for corporate and science roles in Armidale

We have commenced recruitment rounds for corporate services and risk manager and evaluator roles based in Armidale. Vacancies close Tuesday 16 October.

There are multiple corporate positions available ranging from APS 4 to Executive Level 1, and risk manager and evaluator roles at the APS 6 and EL 1 levels.

Corporate vacancies include in IT, finance, information management, communication, parliamentary coordination, human resources, and project management. We are also looking for professionals in legal, quality assurance and compliance and administrative officers.

For our risk manager and evaluator roles, you will need to have a Bachelor degree or higher qualifications in biological or chemical science, which can include agriculture, veterinary, chemistry, environmental, or toxicology.

Go to for more information.

Application summaries - coming soon

We are moving the publishing of the application summaries from the archive website to the live APVMA website.  

There will be changes to the look and feel of how you will navigate the summaries currently. There will be a drop down menu to narrow your search by year and month and the applications will then appear in date order, with the most recent appearing at the top of the list.

Just a reminder that information you provide us will be published exactly as provided, and you should follow the instructions on preparing information lists and ensure your summary doesn’t contain sensitive information.

Keep your eye out for the changes in the coming weeks.

Helicoverpa armigera: The story of an extraordinary pest


As part of our commitment to better understand the issues affecting our regulatory work, our Chief Scientist, Dr Phil Reeves, hosts a science seminar series.

This week we welcomed Dr Angela McGaughran to provide an overview of the moth Helicoverpa armigera, otherwise known as cotton bollworm. Dr McGaughran explained the genetics behind a species developing pesticides resistance.

The moth is unique in that it can tolerate over 300 crops and its consumption of cotton, tomato and rice crops costs agriculture $225 million every year.

“This insect has environmental sensitivity and can detoxify host plants,” Dr McGaughran said. “Combine this with an ability to fly thousands of kilometres and you have an extraordinary pest.”

To slow down the development of resistance, management strategies are used that include crop monitoring and taking a break from one pesticide so the chemical can still remain effective in the future.

Nufarm’s trial site near Wagga Wagga


Nufarm is an Australian based agricultural chemical company that holds more than 200 product registrations with us, and markets products in more than 100 countries around the world.  Our staff recently visited two of Nufarm’s trial sites near Wagga Wagga.

The sites are home to canola development trials (where Nufarm are collaborating with plant breeders) and are where Nufarm demonstrates various pre-emergent wheat herbicide combinations to ensure they perform under different environmental conditions and weed pressure.

Nufarm’s Mitch Allen and David Rumbold explained to the group that canola productivity can be boosted when utilizing specialised hybrids and herbicide tolerance traits. This tolerance allows the herbicide to better manage weeds and improve soil moisture retention without damaging the crop.  In a challenging crop year such as 2018, allowing the crop to access precious soil moisture instead of competing with weeds is especially important.

For our people, the visit provided insight into the amount of work companies do to meet our regulatory requirements as well as their ongoing product stewardship work and the crop management issues Australian farmers’ face each growing season.

New tailored guidance material: timeshift application

We’re making registration easier with tailored guidance material that gives you the information you need to lodge the right application, with the right data and supporting evidence to meet APVMA criteria, before entering our online services portal.  

The new tailored guidance pathway, I want to submit a timeshift application is now available. This complements the following pathways:

By improving applicant guidance material we aim to make the registration process smoother and more efficient.

Learn more about tailored guidance for applicants.

Product recalls

The manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall for the following product:

  • Arysta LifeScience Australia Pty Ltd commenced a voluntary recall of Tokuthion Insecticide Spray (33087)

This voluntary recall is being conducted as the APVMA has cancelled the product's use in table grapes and the product is being recalled for label amendments. People in possession of the product concerned should direct any questions they may have regarding the voluntary recall to Arysta LifeScience Australia Pty Ltd.

We publish both compulsory and voluntary recalls on our website. Products can be recalled for a variety of reasons and we encourage manufacturers to issue a voluntary recall if an issue is detected.

Reminder: Open for public consultation

We are currently seeking input on the following consultations:

Contact us

Our mailing address is:
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
PO Box 6182
Kingston, Australian Capital Territory 2604

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