On 9 December 2019, the President ratified the Control of Pesticides Used for Agricultural Purposes Act. The Act introduces a broad framework for the import, export, trade of agricultural pesticides, and also introduces search and seizure, and specific offences and penalties committed under the Act.
The Control of Pesticides Act states that only persons licensed under the Act will be permitted to engage in the creation, import, export, trade and repackaging of pesticides in the Maldives. Further, the Act also states that a register containing all pesticides permitted for creation, use, trade, import, export, as permitted by the Ministry, and compiled in accordance with the Act, must be published in the Gazette. The Act also states specific measures for the labelling, safe storage, and transport of pesticides.
The Act further gives power to the Ministry to conduct inpsections, and search and seizure to ensure compliance with the Act and Regulations. Non-compliant persons who carry on with the import, export, trade or repackaging or pesticides under the Act, or persons who commit any other offences specified under the Act face steep civil penalties.
The Act also states that transitional provisions are to be followed for pesticides which are not contained in the Registry of Authorized Pesticides. According to the transitional provisions, no requisition orders must be placed for pesticides which are not on the Registry, and pesticides which are not on the list must not be imported/exported, 2 months after the publication of the Registry. Further, the sale of such pesticides must cease 3 months from the publication of the Registry, and use of pesticides not found on the registry shall be prohibited, 12 months after publication of the registry.
The Act shall commence 6 months from the date of publishing in the Gazette.