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Adopted 15 March 1995 having regard to Article 13, Paragraph b) of the Helsinki Convention

This Recommendation supersedes HELCOM Recommendation 8/2 




RECALLING that according to Article 6 of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1974 (Helsinki Convention), the Contracting Parties undertake to take all appropriate measures to control and minimize land-based pollution of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea Area,


RECOGNIZING the importance of agriculture as a source of pollution of the environment by pesticides,


DESIRING to limit this pollution by accomplishing special measures concerned,


RECOMMENDS to the Governments of the Contacting Parties to the Helsinki Convention that the use of pesticides in agriculture, forestry and horticulture should be managed under the following conditions in conformity with the code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides adopted by the FAO in 1985:


a)Application technology and practice should be designed to prevent unintentional application or run-off of pesticides to bodies of water. Establishment of protection zones beside bodies of water should be encouraged and application by aircraft should be strictly controlled;


b)Handling and storage of pesticides should be carried out so that there is no spillage or leakage to bodies of water or to the ground water. Washing of spraying equipment and disposal of pesticide containers should be strictly controlled;


c)Knowledge about the environmental problems caused by pesticides should be improved by collecting and exchanging information on the presence and effects of pesticides in the marine environment of the Baltic Sea and water courses discharging to the Baltic Sea. 

The codes of BEP for the use of pesticides included in Attachment 1 should be applied by the Contracting Parties;


d)The environmentally sound use of pesticides should be encouraged by informing and educating farmers and advisors along the lines indicated in Attachment 2;


e)Alternative methods of control of agricultural pests and weeds should be developed and their use encouraged wherever appropriate,


RECOMMENDS ALSO that the Contracting Parties should report to the Commission on their national measures taken in accordance with this Recommendation in 1997 and every three years thereafter,


RECOMMENDS FURTHER that information on results of investigations and approved technology should be exchanged between the Contracting Parties.


Attachment 1




A first priority should be given to the promotion of management regimes and technology reducing or eliminating the need for application of pesticides.


Before Use


-give preference to safer non-toxic and non-persistent products;   

-ensure adequate knowledge of plant protection and pesticide effects;

-ensure adequate experience;

-stress in the cultivation plan should be on crop rotation, high-quality seed, adequate soil preparation and alternative pest control methods;

-use only when there is a need;

-consider alternatives, if available;

-use early warning systems, i..a forecast of foreseeable agricultural pests or plant diseases and agro-meteorological forecast;

-avoid surplus pesticides (waste) by exact calculation or amounts needed;

-don't buy what you don't need;

-take note of information on container; consult experts for most recent information;

-application on non-agricultural land only in exceptional cases and with agreement of the authority in charge;

-application on natural grazing land only in exceptional cases and with agreement of the authority in charge;

-dispersal of pesticides (or treated seeds) by aircraft for agriculture and horticulture purpose only in exceptional cases and with agreement of the authority in charge;

-avoid unwanted effects in neighbouring areas (land shape, wind, temperature), notify if necessary (bee-keepers);

-keep "pesticide journal" (contents specified);

-use equipment that is: approved, well-maintained, correctly adjusted, regularly checked (by farmers as well as by the authorities);

-use filling provisions designed to prevent spillage to water;

-make reliable calculations of amounts needed; prepare the lowest effective amounts;

-notify authorities in case of spillage.


During Use


-use pesticides according to good plant protection practice;

-avoid wind drift:

*  don't spray under windy conditions >5 m/s or temperatures >25o C;

-be aware of other cultivation, bee-keeping, water courses, water supplies;

-avoid spreading in ditches, verges, forest fringes, grazing land;

-maintain protection zones in order to prevent penetration of pesticides into water bodies;

-don't spray when there is a risk of surface runoff;

-act in accordance with requirements for specific protection zones;

-be aware of pollinating insects (specific pesticides);

-don't use aquatoxic pesticides near water courses or water wells;

-don't mix pesticides unless this is recommended in the instruction or by the official advisers;

-notify the public if area to be treated abuts areas open to the public and the public is possibly endangered, by specified sign.


After Use


-prevent emissions from equipment cleaning;

-have spent containers of pesticide residue treated by sub-contractor or municipality;

-dilute small quantities of residues and spread over treated area;

-clean equipment thoroughly, inside and outside; not near water;

-spread cleaning water over treated area;

-spread rinsing water and other water (containing e.g. soda) over suitable land;

-notify authorities in case of contamination;

-rinse empty containers at least 3 times; use solution for preparation;

-dispose of not-thoroughly cleaned as chemical waste (call municipal authorities or sub-contractor).

Attachment 2

Additional considerations to be taken into account


Education and information should aim at:


-promotion, as a first priority, of the knowledge of management regimes and technology reducing or eliminating the need for application of pesticides;

   -promotion of the use of safer non-toxic and non-persistent pesticides;

-preventive methods;

-integrated methods aiming at using a minimum of chemicals;

-good knowledge on the environmental risks with the use of pesticides.


Spraying equipment:


-better service and maintenance;

-control of the function;

-development of better equipment.


Pesticide registration:


-reconsideration of old substances in the light of modern criteria;

-strict requirements to avoid environmental risk for the approval of new substances.


Extension service:


-better prognostication system for the need of action against pests and weeds;

-better practical advice:

* due to the actual situation of the actual field and  farm

* due to the crop rotation

* due to crop and crop variety

-choice of the best moment for spraying regarding the crop, the pest or weed, the temperature, the wind, the moisture of the air, etc.

-choosing as low dosage as possible

-choosing as environmentally harmless pesticide as possible

-giving practical advice of other methods than chemical methods.