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1°. Defining the activity
The Phytopharmaceutical Advisor is a professional whose job is to provide advice on controlling crop pests and using phytopharmaceuticals safely.
For further information: Article R. 254-1 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
2°. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
To be a phytopharmaceutical consultant, the professional must:
- Hold an individual certificate called "Certiphyto";
- approval (see infra "5°. b. Application for accreditation for the consulting activity").
For further information: Articles L. 254-1 to L. 254-6 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
Individual certificate for the activity "advice on the use of phytopharmaceuticals"
The individual certificate is issued to the professional who is:
- underwent training that included a one-hour written test of knowledge verification;
- successfully passed a one-and-a-half hour test, consisting of thirty questions on the training programme set out in Schedule II of the Order of 29 August 2016;
- holds one of the diplomas in Schedule I of the August 29, 2016 order, obtained in the five years prior to the application.
Once the professional fulfils one of these conditions, he must apply for the certificate (see below "5o. a. Request for an individual certificate of practice").
For further information: decree of 29 August 2016 establishing and setting out the terms of obtaining the individual certificate for the activity "advice on the use of phytopharmaceuticals".
b. EU nationals: for temporary and casual exercise (free provision of services (LPS))
Any national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) or a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) holding a certificate issued by a Member State, legally established and engaged in product advisory activity phytopharmaceuticals, may carry out the same activity on a temporary and casual basis in France.
In order to do so, it must, prior to its first service delivery, make a declaration to the Regional Director of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (DRAAF) of the place where the first service is delivered (see infra "5o). c. Pre-declaration for the national for a temporary and casual exercise (LPS)").
For further information: Articles L. 204-1 and R. 254-9 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
c. EU nationals: for a permanent exercise (Freedom of establishment)
Any national of a legally established EU or EEA Member State engaged in an activity related to the use of phytopharmaceuticals may carry out the same activity on a permanent basis in France.
As long as the national holds an individual certificate of exercise issued by a Member State, he is deemed to hold the certificate required to practise in France.
For further information: II of Article R. 254-9 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
3°. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics
The professional is required to inform his clients on all the provisions regarding the use of these products including:
- the time limit between the application of the products and the harvest;
- The maximum wind speed beyond which they cannot use these products;
- provisions for the application or emptying of phytopharmaceutical effluents.
In addition, any professional using phytopharmaceuticals is required to follow the national plan setting out the objectives and measures taken to reduce the effects of the use of these products on human health and the environment.
For further information: Article L. 253-6 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries; Order of May 4, 2017 relating to the marketing and use of phytopharmaceuticals and their adjuvants covered by Article L. 253-1 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
4°. Insurance and penalties
The professional is required, in order to obtain his approval, to take out insurance covering his professional civil liability.
For further information: Article L. 254-2 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
A professional who works as a phytopharmaceutical consultant without the certification under Article L. 254-1 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries is liable to a six-month prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros. The same penalty applies if the holder of the licence is practising without meeting the requirements of section L. 254-2 or Section L. 254-5.
For further information: Article L. 254-12 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
5°. Qualification recognition procedures and formalities
a. Request for an individual certificate of practice
The professional must submit his request to the Regional Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (DRAAF) of the place of his residence, or, if necessary, the place of the head office of the organization where the trainings were carried out.
Applicants are required to create an online account on the website service-public.fr to access the certificate application service.
His application must include, depending on the case:
- A proof of training follow-up and, if necessary, pass the test;
- copy of his diploma or title.
Time and procedure
The certificate is issued within two months of filing his application. In the absence of the issuance of the certificate after this period, and unless notification of refusal, the above supporting documents are worth individual certificate for up to two months.
This certificate is valid for five years and renewable under the same conditions.
For further information: Articles R. 254-11 and R. 254-12 of the Rural and Marine Fisheries Code.
b. Application for accreditation for consulting activity
The professional must submit his request to the prefect of the region in which the company's head office is located. If the professional is headquartered in a Member State other than France, he will have to submit his request to the prefect of the region in which he will carry out his first service delivery.
His application must include the Application form completed and signed as well as the following documents:
- A certificate of professional liability insurance policy;
- A certificate issued by a third-party body justifying that it performs this activity in accordance with the conditions guaranteeing the protection of public health and the environment;
- copying a contract with a third-party agency providing for the follow-up necessary to maintain certification.
Micro-distributors must submit the following documents to DRAAF:
- a certificate of professional liability insurance;
- proof of the possession of certiphyto by all staff performing supervisory, sales or advisory functions;
- a document justifying that it is subject to the micro-enterprise tax system.
Time and procedure
The professional who starts his activity must apply for an interim approval which will be granted for a period of six months non-renewable. He will then be able to apply for final approval.
The silence kept by the prefect of the region beyond a period of two months is worth decision of rejection.
In addition, the professional is required to provide the prefect with a copy of his insurance certificate each year.
For further information: Articles R. 254-15-1 to R. 254-17 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
c. Pre-declaration for the national for a temporary and casual exercise (LPS)
The national must apply by any means to the DRAAF for the place where he or she first receives services.
Its application must include the individual certificate of exercise issued by the Member State and, if necessary, with its translation into French.
This declaration must be renewed every year and in the event of a change in employment status.
For further information: III of Article R. 254-9 of the Rural Code and Marine Fisheries.
French assistance centre
The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.
SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.
The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:
- that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
- that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).
The national must complete an online complaint form. Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.
To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:
- Full contact details
- Detailed description of his problem
- all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).
SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.
Outcome of the procedure
At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:
- If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
- if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.
SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).