Keeping chemical use records
There are many good reasons for keeping chemical use records. In addition to being a legal requirement in Victoria to keep chemical use records, they also provide useful data that can be used to assist chemical users with their business and to demonstrate that due care has been taken with the application of chemicals.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) is taking stronger enforcement action on individuals not complying with record keeping requirements. Individuals continuing to not comply may receive an infringement notice or face court action.
Agricultural chemical use records
It is compulsory to make specified records within 48 hours of using an agricultural chemical product, and keep these records for a period of two years. This applies to all agricultural chemicals used, including poison baits used for pest animal control. This requirement came into effect on 24 July 2007.
The records must be made and kept for agricultural chemicals used are:
- the product trade name;
- the date the product was used (not required when using poison baits);
- the application rate of the product;
- the crop/commodity that was treated or the situation in which the product was applied;
- the extent of use (the area of land treated, or the volume of water treated, or the volume of stored commodity treated, or the weight of the commodity treated) (not required when using poison baits);
- the location where the product was used;
- the name and address of the applicator/supervisor; and
- the name and address of person for whom the application was carried out.
Where a product is being sprayed outdoors (e.g. a crop insecticide), the following record must also be made:
- the wind speed and direction at the time of application.
This excludes hand-held devices (e.g. small portable sprayers that can be carried by a person and which are operated manually).
If using products that are poison baits intended for pest animal control (e.g. 1080, PAPP or Pindone baits), the two additional records required are:
- the date the baiting period began; and
- the date the baiting period ended.
Veterinary chemical use records
If treating stock animals with a veterinary chemical product that is classified as a Schedule 4 Poison (Prescription Animal Remedy) or an animal health product which has an applicable withholding period (WHP), you must make the following records within 48 hours of using the veterinary chemical product:
- the product trade name;
- the species of the animal;
- the location of the animal;
- the identification number (if known) or description of the animal;
- the date/s the animal was treated with the product; and
- the quantity of the product used for each treatment.
Again, these records must be kept for a period of two years.
The following groups are exempt from these record keeping requirements:
- users of household or home garden products;
- chemical users who are licensed to use agricultural chemical products under section 101 of the Public Heath and Wellbeing Act 2008, and use these products in grounds associated with a building that is not connected with primary production or agricultural commodities;
- chemical users who use agricultural or veterinary chemicals in accordance with a Quality Assurance or similar program that has been approved by the chief administrator, and the notice of that approval has been published in the Government Gazette; and
- veterinary practitioners.
Veterinary practitioner record keeping requirements
The following requirements apply to the sale or use of a veterinary chemical product by a veterinary practitioner that:
- contains a Schedule 4 Poison (Prescription Animal Remedy) substance;
- is not registered as a veterinary chemical product by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA);
- is sold without an APVMA approved label;
- is sold for a use not specified on the product label; or
- has an applicable WHP.
Veterinary practitioners who sell or use a veterinary chemical product to treat stock animals are now required to make the following records within 24 hours of selling or using a chemical product:
- the product name;
- the date the product was sold/ used;
- the directions for use;
- the name and address of the person purchasing the product;
- the quantity of the product sold/used;
- the species of animal to be treated;
- the location of the animal to be treated; and
- any applicable WHPs.
If the veterinary chemical product is unregistered, three additional records must be made:
- the name of the active constituent;
- the concentration of the product at time of sale/use; and
- the form of product at time of sale/use.
These records must be kept for two years after the sale or use of the chemical product.
DEDJTR does not specify the format in which these records must be kept. This is to provide a degree of flexibility to users who may wish to keep records on computer, in hard copy (e.g. record book, paper files) or a combination of both. An important feature of any record is that it must be readily available to a DEDJTR authorised officer upon request.
Record keeping templates for recording the use of agricultural chemicals, poison baits and veterinary chemicals are also available from the DEDJTR Chemical Use website.
Benefits of record keeping
Keeping records is not just a matter of complying with the law. There have been many instances where information contained in a chemical user's spray record has provided information to refute spurious allegations made by another person (e.g. spray drift dispute).
An accurate record made when using a chemical product is important. Records demonstrate that WHPs, application rates, wind speeds have been checked prior to chemical application, and that due care has been taken when applying chemical products.
Chemical use records can also be used to track chemical use patterns and assist with resistance management. If follow up inspections are made, comments can provide local information on the effectiveness of particular chemicals against particular pests.
Making an accurate record of chemical use takes only a minute or so, and is good insurance should things go wrong later on. For these reasons and more, there is logic in keeping chemical use records for all chemicals used.
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website
- Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources Chemical Use website
DEDJTR Chemical Standards Officers
Fax: (03) 5430 4590
|Steve Field||(03) 5430 4463|
|Alex Perera||(03) 5430 4591|
|Felicity Collins||(03) 5833 5203|
|Neil Harrison||(03) 5336 6616|
|Jane Rhodes||(03) 5147 0832|
Enquiries from other regions should be directed to the nearest of the above-named regional officers.
Published and Authorised by:
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
1 Spring Street
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The advice provided in this publication is intended as a source of information only. Always read the label before using any of the products mentioned. The State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication