Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Reports
Title (Primary) Pesticide tax in the EU - Various levy concepts and their impact on pesticide reduction
Author Möckel, S.; Gawel, E.; Liess, M.; Neumeister, L.
Year 2021
Page To 101
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes

A dozen NGOs together with GLS Bank support a pesticide tax - as the current use of pesticides endangers biodiversity and leads to high environmental damages. A new study shows that with a pesticide tax an effective reduction in the amount of pesticide applied is possible. The revenue from the tax should be returned to agriculture for ecological restructuring," says GLS Bank board spokesman Thomas Jorberg.

The authors of the study recommend introducing a risk-based tax on all chemical plant protection products in the EU, which should take into account not only the hazardousness of the pesticides but also the effect intensity per kilogram. Such a tax could not only halve the volume of pesticides sold, but also the intensity of treatment.

Pesticides vary in their effectiveness by up to a thousandfold. While only a few grams are permitted for highly effective products, several kilograms are permitted for less effective substances. „It is therefore important that a tax is linked to the maximum permissible application rate per hectare and year - and thus to the impact on the field as well as the side effects and risks for the environment," according to ecotoxicologist Matthias Liess.

Pesticide expert Lars Neumeister adds: "A levy should further tax herbicides and insecticides more heavily, since they directly and indirectly have a variety of negative effects on biodiversity - such as insects and birds - and at the same time many non-chemical alternatives exist here."

According to Stefan Möckel, study leader and legal expert, the EU can introduce such a risk-based pesticide tax due to its competences in the areas of health, environment and indirect taxes.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Möckel, S., Gawel, E., Liess, M., Neumeister, L. (2021):
Pesticide tax in the EU - Various levy concepts and their impact on pesticide reduction
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ, Leipzig, 101 pp.