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Costa Rica - Final Regulatory Action
Alachlor CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: Acetamide, 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl)-

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Pesticide

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Banned

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

All formulations containing Alachlor active ingredient, as well as all uses in Costa Rica, are banned.

Pesticide use or uses that remain allowed:


The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: No

Summary of the final regulatory action:

A meeting of the Interministerial Commission was held, in May 2012, with the participation of officials from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Ministry of Health (MS), and State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) - Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) with the participation of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (ICAFE), as pesticide Alachlor was of great importance for the cultivation of coffee. During this meeting it was pointed out that Alachlor is used very little in coffee nurseries, so there was no big impact if prohibited; together with the above, the Directorate of ICAFE by means of a letter sent to the State Phytosanitary Service indicating that pesticides Aldicarb and Alachlor are used very little and there are substitute products registered for this kind of crop and therefore their elimination would not cause an impact on coffee growing.
In June, August and September 2012, different follow-up meetings of the SFE-MINAE-MS Interministerial Commission were held, where modifications and corrections were made to the proposed decree. In October 2012, the Directorate of Environmental Quality Management (DIGECA) handed over to the Head of the Department of Agrochemicals of the SFE the technical report on the Alachlor issue, concluding that the environmental fate of this pesticide generates concern, as it is a substance persistent in water and moderately toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms; for algae, base organisms of the trophic chain, it is highly toxic, and the degradation of this product generates unknown metabolites that may have unacceptable toxicological and ecotoxicological effects; therefore, its use in agricultural applications could result in significant effects for the country's ecosystems, for which the technical environmental criterion indicated in the technical report was that the use of Alachlor in the country would be eliminated.
On this same month, October 2012, the SFE-MAG issued the agronomic technical report where it was concluded that after analysing the scientific and technical information on the risks that Alachlor represents for the human health and the environment, and considering the agricultural use panorama in Costa Rica, it is the criterion of the SFE -MAG that the joint efforts required with MINAE and MS should be made to dictate the corresponding legal regulation that would allow natural or legal persons who register, formulate, package, repackage, import, export, commercialize, manipulate and use, synthetic pesticides formulated containing Alachlor, had a non-extendable term of six months, considered from the publication date of the decree in the Official Gazette 'La Gaceta' to deplete their stocks in the national market and after this term the MAG through the SFE, would proceed to cancel all these registrations.
In the technical report carried out by the Ministry of Health, it is concluded that after the analysis of the technical and scientific information on the represented risks on health and the environment and that, given the little importance that this herbicide has in the country's agriculture, efforts should be made together with MINAE and MAG to dictate the legal regulation that allows the prohibition for the importation, manufacture and use of Alachlor and formulated products; the MS considered that the carcinogenic risk to humans of this product has not been fully studied nor completely discarded.
In November 2012 the Occupational Health Council issued a technical report, where it was concluded that calculations from studies conducted on German and UK operators using the appropriate personal protective equipment, during mixing, loading and application of the product, indicate that the operator faces an inadmissible risk in all uses, and in order to protect life, health and safety of the operators, it was agreed the prohibition of registration, import, export, re-destination, manufacture, formulation, packaging, repackaging, storage, sale, mixing, marketing and use of the technical active ingredient Alachlor and synthetic pesticides formulated containing this active ingredient.
During this same month, the SFE-MAG delivers to the Ministries of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Ministry of Health the draft decree requesting the approval of said regulations. This same month the approvals of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Environment and Energy are received, however, the Ministry of Health made some observations in relation to the legal basis.
From the date indicated in the previous point to the moment of publication in the Official Gazette 'La Gaceta', observations were made by all the Ministries and entities involved on the decree draft that had been drawn up from the beginning and the respective collection of the signatures of the ministries involved.

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to:

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

Not relevant

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

Not relevant

Summary of known hazards and risks to the environment:

Not relevant

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to the environment:

Not relevant

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 04/03/2015

Executive Decree N 38677-MAG-S-MINAE-MTSS prohibits the registration, import, export, manufacture, formulation, storage, distribution, transportation, packaging, repackaging, handling, sale, and use of technical grade active ingredient and synthetic pesticides that contain Alachlor