Pesticide Product Licensing
Prior to the distribution of pesticide products for use or sale in Wisconsin, pesticide manufacturers and labelers must be licensed and register their products in the state. Licensing ensures that products offered for sale in Wisconsin are properly registered by EPA, and creates a level playing-field for the pesticide industry. License fees are based on the type of product and the amount of product estimated to be sold in Wisconsin the current year. These fees comprise the largest portion of the Agricultural Chemical Management (ACM) fund that supports the work of all of the department’s pesticide-related programs. The surcharges collected through this program help fund the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program (ACCP).
The program requires licensees to calculate product registration fees based on estimated sales for the current licensing year. At the end of a licensing year, the licensee reconciles the estimate fees with the actual sales. Licensees who overpaid can apply the overpayment to the next year’s fees or request a refund. Licensees who underpaid are billed for the difference. The program continues to review the licensing system to find ways to make this process more efficient for the department and licensees.
In 2011, the program became aware that it was registering bear deterrent products, which are EPA-registered pesticides, but not legal to sell or use in Wisconsin under a Department of Justice regulation. Program staff worked with the Department of Justice and the licensees to discontinue sales of the product in Wisconsin. Staff inspections at pesticide sales locations throughout the state are used to monitor registration and licensing compliance.
The most common violation in the pesticide registration and licensing program is sale of unregistered products. The penalty for selling an unregistered pesticide is the manufacturers and labelers must pay double the registration fee to register their product the first year.
Chart 1 indicates the annual licensing of companies and product registration activity in 2011. This information shows that in 2011 staff renewed or issued pesticide licenses to 1,272 manufacturers and labelers (a slight decrease from 2010) and registered 12,083 pesticide products (a slight increase from 2010). Most products are registered for household, industrial, or non-household use with estimated sales under $25,000.
Direction for the Coming Year
Each licensee must submit labels for each of their products annually. In 2012, the program will be requesting electronic labels only from registrants.
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