Review of the existing maximum residue levels (MRLs) for phosphane and phosphide salts according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005


European Food Safety Authority
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4325 [88 pp.].

EFSA wishes to thank the rapporteur Member State Germany for the preparatory work on this scientific output.

Reasoned Opinion
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA Q 2009 00173
25 November 2015
4 December 2015
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
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According to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reviewed the maximum residue levels (MRLs) currently established at European level for phosphane; this residue may result from the use of phosphane itself or from the use of certain phosphide salts. In order to assess the occurrence of phosphane residues in plants, processed commodities, rotational crops and livestock, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Directive 91/414/EEC, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the European authorisations reported by Member States (incl. the supporting residues data). Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers. 


The pesticide active substances aluminium phosphide, calcium phosphide and magnesium phosphide were included in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC on 1 September 2009 by Commission Directive 2008/125/EC, while the active substance zinc phosphide was included in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC on 1 May 2011 by Commission Directive 2010/85/EU. These substances have subsequently been deemed to be approved under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, in accordance with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011, as amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 541/2011. On 1 April 2013, the pesticide active substance phosphane was also approved under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1043/2012, amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011. Since all these substances were approved after the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on 2 September 2008, EFSA is required to provide a reasoned opinion on the review of the existing MRLs for phosphane in compliance with Article 12(1) of the aforementioned regulation, phosphane being the common residue generated by these five substances.

In order to collect the relevant pesticide residues data, EFSA asked Germany, as the designated rapporteur Member State (RMS), to complete the Pesticide Residues Overview File (PROFile) and to prepare a supporting evaluation report for each substance. The evaluation reports submitted by the RMS and the PROFiles prepared in collaboration with EFSA were made available to the Member States. A request for additional information was addressed to the Member States in the framework of a completeness check period which was initiated by EFSA on 16 March 2015 and finalised on 15 May 2015. After having considered all the information provided, EFSA prepared a completeness check report for each active substance; these reports were made available to Member States on 18 June 2015.

Based on the conclusions derived by EFSA in the framework of Directive 91/414/EEC, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the additional information provided by the RMS and Member States, EFSA prepared in October 2015 a draft reasoned opinion, which was circulated to Member States for consultation via a written procedure. Comments received by 09 November 2015 were considered during the finalisation of this reasoned opinion. The following conclusions are derived.

phosphane, phosphide, MRL review, Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, consumer risk assessment, fumigant
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