The Agvet Code requires that all agricultural and veterinary (agvet) products supplied to the market place must have a label attached to the container. This label must state the relevant particulars, must not contain information that is contrary to the relevant particulars, and must comply with all conditions of label approval.
Agricultural Labelling Code
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Agvet Code), scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 and the Agricultural and Veterinary Code Regulations 1995 (Agvet Code Regulations) collectively prescribe the approval process and content requirements for labels for containers for agricultural chemical products. Among other things, a label must comply with the requirements of the Labelling Standard or, if there is no Labelling Standard, the Agricultural or Veterinary Labelling Codes made by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), as in force from time to time.
This Agricultural Labelling Code draws together the requirements of the Agvet Code and the Agvet Code Regulations (including in relation to the relevant particulars of labels and label conditions). It also includes additional guidance developed by the APVMA to ensure that labels for containers for agricultural chemical products reflect current best practice.
Where the term 'must' is used, it is a legal requirement that labels comply with this provision. The Agricultural Labelling Code also provides advice on how the requirement might be met, under the sub-heading ‘Best practice guide’. This is for guidance only, and is not mandatory. It contains words that have previously been considered by the APVMA and are likely to be able to be accepted as suitable without an in-depth assessment. Any variation from these words should be justified by supporting information or argument.
The Agricultural Labelling Code aims to accurately reflect legislative requirements. Labels for containers for agricultural chemical products must comply with the Agricultural Labelling Code. In the event that the Agricultural Labelling Code is found to be inconsistent with the Agvet Code or the Agvet Code Regulations, the Agvet Code and the Agvet Code Regulations take precedence. The Agricultural Labelling Code may be revised as required.
The APVMA cannot register an agricultural chemical product without also approving a label for containers for the product. Similarly the APVMA cannot approve a label for containers for an agricultural chemical product without also registering the product (the Agvet Code also provides that a registered chemical product may have more than one approved label).
Assessing and approving labels is a key part of the product registration process. While all label information must comply with the Agricultural Labelling Code, the APVMA will only assess and formally approve the subset of label related information identified in the e-label template (that is, the information to which the APVMA must have regard to satisfy itself that a label meets the labelling criteria and approve the label (sections 5D and 14 of the Agvet Code).
All of the key information required to be set out on labels for containers for agricultural chemical products is outlined in the Agricultural Labelling Code (including the requirements of the Agvet Code and the Agvet Code Regulations). The Agricultural Labelling Code also provides additional guidance and examples of suitable wording for common situations. The examples are not exhaustive and may not be required or be appropriate for all circumstances. The specific information required on the label for each product will be determined by the APVMA during the evaluation of the application for approval of the label or for variation of the approved label.
The Agricultural Labelling Code is presented as a series of general labelling requirements and specific labelling requirements. Specific requirements relate only to the particular product types or certain aspects of labelling identified. The content of a specific labelling requirement may extend content, or replace part of the content, contained in the general labelling requirements. All labels should otherwise comply with the general labelling requirements.
General labelling requirements
- An introduction to preparing a label and the label approval process
- Label presentation and layout
- Label content
Specific labelling requirements
- Home garden and domestic pest-control products
- Australian and New Zealand harmonised labelling for aerosol products
- Antifouling paints
- Uniform expression of active constituents
- Organophosphorus and carbamate compounds requiring an anticholinesterase compound statement
- Directions for use table headings
- Spray drift labelling
Labels and label variations must be submitted electronically using the e-label template.