The record must be
- made within 48 hours of using the pesticide
- kept for 3 years
All people who use pesticides as part of their job must record their pesticide use. Records provide vital information if an incident occurs, protect the pesticide user by providing evidence they used pesticides responsibly, and help track the effectiveness of pesticides.
The record must be
Under Part 4 of the Pesticides Regulation 2017, it is compulsory for all people who use pesticides for commercial or occupational purposes to record their pesticide use. This includes farmers, market gardeners, parkland and green keepers, nursery operators, pest management technicians, fumigators, ground rig operators, landlords, landscape gardeners, local councils and government agencies, and other people who use pesticides as part of their job.
Licensed pesticide users must record extra information in their records of pesticide use which are specified under clause 36(2) of the Pesticides Regulation 2017. There are also specific records of pesticide use, under Part 2, clause 26(4) of the Pesticides Regulation 2017, required for licensed businesses that aerially apply pesticides.
Important note: If a pesticide label or Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) permit requires that you make a record of pesticide use, you must do so, in accordance with the conditions stated, even if you do not normally have to make and keep records.
You do not need to make a record when you use pesticides around your own home or garden, or when using things such as personal insect repellents, cockroach baits or flea powders on pets or pesticides unless the label requires you to make a record.
Pesticides include herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fumigants, bactericides, rodenticides, baits, lures and repellents. Products used on animals to control external parasites are also considered pesticides if they require dilution or mixing with water, unless they are listed as a low-risk veterinary chemical product in the Regulation to the Stock Medicines Act 1989 (none had been as at December 2013).
You usually need to make a record of using pesticides when
Exemptions apply for domestic like uses of pesticides.
If you use pesticides as part of your business or occupation you do not have to keep a record for jobs where you do all the following
Records may also not be required for certain other small-scale uses of agricultural pesticides.
Record the name, address and contact telephone numbers of the person who applied the pesticide. If a contractor or employee applied it, they need to record their name as well as the name, address and contact details of their employer.
The names, addresses and contact details need to be complete. Record
If you are the on-site supervisor for a public authority, for example, you are supervising a council work team treating a weed infestation, you need to record the names of all volunteers, trainees or paid members of the team you are supervising to apply pesticides. This applies where pesticides are applied by hand or with hand-held equipment.
However, if non hand-held equipment is used, all users in the team would need to make an individual record.
Record the date you applied the pesticide.
Record the full product name of the pesticide that you used. This is usually found below the warning statements (signal headings) at the top of the label and above the active constituent information. A product name may include letters or numbers as part of its name and these must be recorded too. For example, 'glyphosate' is insufficient while 'Bloggs Glyphosate 360 Herbicide' would be correct.
Aerial operators must also record the active constituent(s) in the product applied.
Name the situation in which you used the pesticide. For example,
Be as specific as possible. For example, record the exact vegetables you sprayed such as 'spinach and onions', do not just record 'vegetables'.
Record the property address and a delineation of the area where the pesticide was released. You could use a sketch or map of the property with blocks or paddocks marked on it to show the specific areas of the property you treated.
Alternatively, you could record the area on a map that shows surrounding roads, streets, fences, waterways or other landmarks that indicate the boundaries of the property and the areas where you applied pesticides.
If you are outdoors and spraying pesticide through the air, you need to record an estimate of the wind strength and direction, for example, 'a light breeze was blowing from the north-east'. You do not need special equipment for this. Estimating wind speed by using the Beaufort Scale which relies on the movement of trees, flags or smoke is acceptable. Details can be found on the Bureau of Meterology website.
You also need to record any significant weather changes during the application, for example, when a change in weather conditions increases the risk of spray drift.
The best wind conditions for applying pesticides are when the wind is blowing lightly and steadily away from sensitive areas. The document Spray Drift Management: Principles, Strategies and Supporting Information published in 2002 by the Primary Industries Standing Committee and CSIRO Publications provides guidance on managing spray drift.
If the pesticide you are using does not travel through the air, for example, dipping fruit or vegetables after harvest or laying pest baits, you do not need to record weather details.
Some labels restrict the use of the pesticide in certain weather conditions. For example, if the label says
If you need to record rainfall, temperature or humidity, you must also record any significant changes during the application, for example, when a change in weather conditions increases the risk of off-target movement of the pesticide.
Some information may remain the same from one application to the next so you can record it in one place and refer to it rather than write it out in full each time you need to make a record.
For example, you could keep a book with
When you then make a record, you could refer to the specific blocks, pesticides used and the person applying the pesticide according to your book without having to repeat the same details.
As well as the mandatory details that must be recorded by all pesticide users outlined above, licensed pesticide users must also record the following information.
Name the equipment that you used e.g. mister, fogger, backpack, wiper, ground-rig, truck-mounted boom, tractor-mounted boomsprayer etc.
The EPA suggests that you also note down nozzle settings and calibration information, as this may help to show you took all care to avoid any off-target movement of the pesticide.
You must record the time you started and finished applying the pesticide.
If more than one area of land was treated as part of the same job record the order in which the paddocks, areas or blocks were treated. For example, 'sprayed blocks 1, 5, 2 and 3, in that order'. This requirement does not apply to pest management technicians.
Record the name, address and contact details of the person in charge of the place where the pesticide was applied. This may be the owner of the land, a farm manager, a lessee or rental occupier. This does not apply if the owner or occupier are the same person that is applying the pesticides.
The names and contact details recorded need to be complete.
Pesticide use information that must be recorded by licensed persons aerially applying pesticides is given on the aerially applying pesticides web page.
You do not have to use a special recording form - any suitable format is fine. You may already keep records for quality assurance programs and these will be sufficient if they include all the requirements specified here. If your current records do not include all the requirements, simply add in the missing information. You do not need to keep two sets of records.
If you apply the same pesticide to different paddocks, crops or sections of roadside as part of the same job on one day, you only need to make one record and say which paddocks, crops or streets you treated. For example, if you sprayed the same pesticide mixture to tomatoes and cucumbers as part of the same job, you can make a single record for that job. You do not need two separate records.
As records need to be made within 48 hours of applying the pesticide, if your job goes for more than one day you would need to make a completely new record for each new day.
It is the responsibility of the person applying the pesticide to make sure that an accurate record of that application has been made.
Someone else can write down the record for you but it is up to you, the pesticide user, to make sure the record is accurate.
If you are the owner, occupier or manager of the land on which you or your employees applied pesticides you need to keep a record of those applications.
If you are a business whose employees apply pesticides, you will need to ensure that the records your employees make are kept by you.
You will need to give a copy of your record to the owner or occupier of the land on which the pesticide was applied if you are a contractor working
A public authority needs to keep a copy of records made by its contractors or employees.
If there is sufficient evidence to show that a person did not comply with the legislation, the EPA would assess whether to warn the offender, issue a penalty notice or prosecute. The EPA Prosecution Guidelines set out policy on issuing penalty notices and conducting prosecutions.
Penalty notice fines for record keeping offences range from $150 to $750 for individuals and $300 to $1500 for corporations.
Maximum penalties for prosecutions are $22,000 for individuals and $44,000 for corporations.
The EPA undertakes audit programs to check compliance with various aspects of pesticide use, which may include record keeping. The EPA also investigates allegations of pesticide misuse. EPA-authorised officers will always show you their authorisation card with photo identification before commencing an audit or an investigation.
Specific industry guidance fact sheets on pesticide record keeping are available in PDF format for
(please note these fact sheets are being updated to reflect the new Regulation)