Spray Drift

Operational Notice - New Requirements and Changes to Labels

A Supplement (Supplement 1) to this Operational Notice, effective from 17 November 2010, provides additional information and does not negate any information or requirements in the first notice below.

The APVMA has released an operational notice that covers the new registration application and label requirements in relation to spray drift management (PDF, 92kb) | (RTF | 364kb), effective from 1 March 2010.

In this section


Off-target spray drift that can accompany the application of pesticides is a concern that sometimes alarms the community and always challenges the agricultural industry to find ways to control it more effectively. The APVMA is responsible for ensuring that off-target pesticide spray drift does not harm human health, the environment or Australia’s international trade.

In assessing applications for product registrations the APVMA undertakes spray drift risk assessment for agricultural chemical products (including biological control agents) labeled for use outdoors, that can be applied as sprays or dusts. There are some exceptions that are outlined in section 3.2 of the spray drift risk operating principles.

No-spray zones are the protective buffer zones that the APVMA requires between an application area and an area downwind that needs to be protected. The APVMA sets the size of no-spray zones based on the inherent hazard characteristic of each pesticide and on an assessment of the specific risk.

Public Consultation

The Operating Principles were developed over a period of five years, four rounds of public consultation and two national forums.

Download a summary of the final round of public submissions – February 2008 (PDF, 316kb).

Considering Regulatory Impacts

The Preliminary Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) provides background to the development of the Operating Principles and further details of planned spray drift reviews. The RIS satisfies Office of Best Practice Regulation requirements.

Download the Preliminary Regulatory Impact Statement – Feb 2008 (PDF, 808kb).

Further information

Spray drift management fact sheet

The NSW Farmers Association, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW), the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), and Cotton Australia have combined to create a fact sheet that provides further information on how to manage spray drift.

See the NSW Farmers Association website for a downloadable copy of the fact sheet.

International approaches to spray drift regulation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a website dedicated to sharing information about the regulatory approach of its different member counties for spray drift concerns.


Spray Drift

Phone: +61 2 6210 4749

Fax: +61 2 6210 4874

Email: spraydrift@apvma.gov.au

Last updated on 22 June, 2011

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get fortnightly, regular updates from the APVMA. Read more