Inspection of pesticide application equipment

Previously, the obligation to have pesticide application equipment inspected only applied to equipment used on farms that receive agri-environmental support. From now on, as a rule, the obligation applies to all application equipment unless an exemption or exception to the timetable is applicable.


The new inspection obligation enters into force on 26 November 2016 for sprayers in the inspection timetable category 1. Sprayers in category 2, including cold/thermal atomisers, must be inspected by 26 November 2026. Certain sprayer types, including knapsack sprayers, are exempt from the inspection obligation. The inspection of application equipment tied to agri-environmental support is valid in the new system until the expiry of validity.


The changes are based on the obligations specified in the framework directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. Tukes has assessed the risks to human health and the environment resulting from the use of application equipment. Based on this risk assessment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has specified exceptional inspection timetables for certain application equipment and exempted others from the inspection obligation (Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 4/2016). 


Sprayers that are not inspected may not be used after 26 November 2016.  Application equipment (category 1) must be inspected every 5 years up to 2020 and every 3 years thereafter.



Inspection timetable category 1: to be inspected by 26 November 2016:

  •          Horizontal boom sprayers with a boom of > 3 m
  •          Sprayers for bush and tree crops (foggers)
  •          Pesticide application equipment in greenhouses
             (mobile or semi-mobile equipment, with a tank of ≥ 25 l
             or working pressure ≥ 15 bar or boom > 3 m
  •          Application equipment mounted on combine-harvesters
  •          Application equipment mounted on trains or aircraft


Inspection timetable category 2: to be inspected by 26 November 2016 for the first time  (inspection interval 10 years):


  •        Horizontal boom sprayers with a boom of < 3 m
  •        Pesticide application equipment in greenhouses
           (mobile or semi-mobile equipment, with a tank of < 25 l
           or working pressure < 15 bar or boom < 3 m
  •        Cold/thermal atomisers intended for local use (not portable)
  •        Seed treatment equipment
  •        Wiping equipment (non-portable)


No inspection obligation:


  •        portable equipment and knapsack sprayers
  •        seed treatment equipment mounted on grain spiral conveyors
  •        potato seed treatment equipment (excluding boom sprayer type equipment)
  •        equipment in forest harvesters (e.g. for the prevention of root rot)


New inspection instructions 


The European Committee for Standardisation is preparing a new series of standards (ISO 16119) on the inspection of pesticide application equipment in use. The first parts of the series of standards (ISO 16119, parts 1–4) are complete. In collaboration with sprayer inspectors, Tukes has prepared new inspection instructions based on the standards. The new inspection instructions are available for the following types of sprayers:


  •        Inspection of horizontal boom sprayers of pesticides
  •        Inspection instructions for sprayers for bush and tree crops
  •        Instructions for inspecting the condition of fixed and semi-mobile
           pesticide sprayers


Tukes’ inspection instructions will be supplemented as soon as the following parts of the series of standards are completed.


New sprayers 


CE marked new sprayers must be tested within five years of the purchase date of the sprayer. The sprayer manufacturer is responsible for the conformity of the equipment and supplies the seller with the certificate of conformity and instructions for use. Occupational health and safety authorities are responsible for supervising the conformity of new sprayers in accordance with the Machinery Directive.


Applications to become an inspector of application equipment


According to the Finnish Plant Protection Products Act, Tukes is responsible for organising inspection activities by approving the inspectors of pesticide application equipment.


Requirements for approval include sufficient knowledge of the sector and inspection operations. Moreover, the individual in question must have accompanied an authorised inspector in the inspection of at least 20 sprayers. In addition, the inspector must have inspection equipment suitable for the purpose. The definition of inspection equipment is included in the inspection instructions. Inspection equipment that meets the requirements of the inspection instructions issued in 2011 may, as applicable, be used in the inspection of sprayers until 26 November 2021.


To apply, complete the application form and send the signed form to:

Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), registry, P.O.Box 66, FI-00521 Helsinki

The signed form may also be scanned and e-mailed to:


Decisions on approved applications will be sent, in writing, to the authorised person. Authorisations are granted for a period of five years at a time.


Tukes will charge €150 for the authorisation of inspectors in accordance with the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.