Complex Made Simple

Ministry of Environment issues new ministerial decree

Decision comes as part of series of regulations to be implemented by Ministry

H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has issued Ministerial Decision No. 784 for 2015 related to “Federals Laws’ Executive Regulations” no. 39 for 1992.

This law covers the production, import and circulation of fertilizers and soil conditioner.

In addition, it aims to facilitate and reinforce the country’s position in the agricultural sector leadership and raise the standards of procedures for importing, producing and distributing fertilizers and soil conditioners according to the international standards.

The decision states that “It is allowed only to import, produce, use and trade of fertilizers and agricultural soil conditioners that are registered at the Ministry and match the specifications and standards set in this decision.” It states also that required licenses must be obtained from the Ministry along with the relevant government authorities, and it identifies standards and technical specifications including health safety and environmental measures to be followed for the use, produce, handle and storage of fertilizers and soil conditioners to ensure that farmers achieve the best returns and to mitigate any negative or harmful impact on the environment.

The decree also stipulates that the fertilizer companies are responsible for disposing of the waste products of fertilizers and soil conditioners according to the Environmental Federal Law No. 24 for 1999 and according to the instructions defined by the local authorities. According to the decree, the fertilizer companies must keep records showing the trade of fertilizers and in the meantime the Ministry has the right to cancel the registration of any kind of fertilizer registration if it has been registered using incorrect information; or if its usage can lead to serious health issues, or due to any impact on environment or animals; or if its registration is cancelled in the country of origin; or if it is banned by international organizations for public health reasons or any other reasons.

The decree also included practices which are contrary to the provisions of the decree such as the import or export of any kind of fertilizer and soil conditioner does not meet the decree standards and specifications; or not obtaining the necessary permits and licenses from the Ministry and the relevant authorities; or distribution, manufacture and production of expired or banned fertilizer, as well as do not follow professional environmental safety measures defined by the local authorities. In the event that a company imported a shipment violating the decree provisions, the shipment will returned to its home country, or the Ministry will destroy the shipment; and in both cases the company will bear the costs.

The Ministry along with special authorities have the right to implement the necessary actions – including the closure of facilities that violate the provisions of the decree for a maximum period of three months. A decision will be taken to allow the facility to operate again once the violation corrected within the closure period, and in case the facility was not able to correct it within this period, a permanent closure decision will be taken and its license will be withdrawn. The decree gives the facility the right to appeal against the permanent or the temporary closure decision issued by the Ministry or the local authority but within 30 days of receiving the decision, otherwise in this respect the decision will be final.