European Union: Regulation Published Lowering MRLs Due to Environmental Concerns
On February 15, 2023, Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/334 amending Annexes II and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 lowering the maximum residue levels (MRLs) for clothianidin and thiamethoxam in or on certain products was published in the Official Journal (OJ). This Regulation enters into force on the twentieth day after its publication but will apply 36 months later in order to give food operators and third countries time to adapt. This means that as of March 7, 2026, imported products will no longer be able to contain residues of these two neonicotinoids. The proposed reduction in MRLs is not due to food safety concerns stemming from the presence of pesticide residues in imported foods, but rather based on a stated interest in protecting pollinators in countries outside of the EU.