Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 relating to fertilisers (Text with EEA relevance)Text with EEA relevance

Published date21 November 2003
Subject Matteraproximación de las legislaciones,obstáculos técnicos,rapprochement des législations,entraves techniques,ravvicinamento delle legislazioni,ostacoli tecnici
Official Gazette PublicationDiario Oficial de la Unión Europea, L 304, 21 de noviembre de 2003,Journal officiel de l’Union européenne, L 304, 21 novembre 2003,Gazzetta ufficiale dell’Unione europea, L 304, 21 novembre 2003
Consolidated TEXT: 32003R2003 — EN — 01.12.2020

02003R2003 — EN — 01.12.2020 — 018.001

This text is meant purely as a documentation tool and has no legal effect. The Union's institutions do not assume any liability for its contents. The authentic versions of the relevant acts, including their preambles, are those published in the Official Journal of the European Union and available in EUR-Lex. Those official texts are directly accessible through the links embedded in this document

►B REGULATION (EC) No 2003/2003 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 13 October 2003 relating to fertilisers (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 304 21.11.2003, p. 1)

Amended by:

Official Journal
No page date
►M1 COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 885/2004 of 26 April 2004 L 168 1 1.5.2004
►M2 COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 2076/2004 of 3 December 2004 L 359 25 4.12.2004
►M3 COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1791/2006 of 20 November 2006 L 363 1 20.12.2006
►M4 COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 162/2007 of 19 February 2007 L 51 7 20.2.2007
►M5 COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1107/2008 of 7 November 2008 L 299 13 8.11.2008
►M6 REGULATION (EC) No 219/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 March 2009 L 87 109 31.3.2009
►M7 COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1020/2009 of 28 October 2009 L 282 7 29.10.2009
►M8 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 137/2011 of 16 February 2011 L 43 1 17.2.2011
►M9 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 223/2012 of 14 March 2012 L 75 12 15.3.2012
►M10 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 463/2013 of 17 May 2013 L 134 1 18.5.2013
►M11 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1257/2014 of 24 November 2014 L 337 53 25.11.2014
►M12 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2016/1618 of 8 September 2016 L 242 24 9.9.2016
►M13 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2019/1102 of 27 June 2019 L 175 25 28.6.2019
►M14 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2020/1666 of 10 November 2020 L 377 3 11.11.2020



of 13 October 2003

relating to fertilisers

(Text with EEA relevance)




Scope and definitions

Article 1


This Regulation shall apply to products which are placed on the market as fertilisers designated ‘EC fertiliser’.

Article 2


For the purposes of this Regulation the following definitions shall apply:


‘Fertiliser’ means material, the main function of which is to provide nutrients for plants.


‘Primary nutrient’ means the elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium only.


‘Secondary nutrient’ means the elements calcium, magnesium, sodium and sulphur.


‘Micro-nutrients’ means the elements boron, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc, essential for plant growth in quantities that are small compared with those of primary and secondary nutrients.


‘Inorganic fertiliser’ means a fertiliser in which the declared nutrients are in the form of minerals obtained by extraction or by physical and/or chemical industrial processes. Calcium cyanamide, urea and its condensation and association products, and fertilisers containing chelated or complexed micro-nutrients may, by convention, be classed as inorganic fertilisers.


‘Chelated micro-nutrient’ means a micro-nutrient that is held by one of the organic molecules listed in section E.3.1 of Annex I.


‘Complexed micro-nutrient’ means a micro-nutrient that is held by one of the molecules listed in section E.3.2 of Annex I.


‘Type of fertilisers’ means fertilisers with a common type designation as indicated in Annex I.


‘Straight fertiliser’ means a nitrogenous, phosphatic or potassic fertiliser having a declarable content of only one of the primary nutrients.


‘Compound fertiliser’ means a fertiliser having a declarable content of at least two of the primary nutrients and obtained chemically or by blending or by a combination of both.


‘Complex fertiliser’ means a compound fertiliser, obtained by chemical reaction, by solution, or in its solid state by granulation, having a declarable content of at least two of the primary nutrients. In its solid state each granule contains all the nutrients in their declared composition.


‘Blended fertiliser’ means a fertiliser obtained by dry mixing of several fertilisers, with no chemical reaction.


‘Foliar fertiliser’ means a fertiliser suitable for application to and nutrient uptake by the foliage of a crop.


‘Fluid fertiliser’ means a fertiliser in suspension or solution.


‘Solution fertiliser’ means a fluid fertiliser that is free of solid particles.


‘Suspension fertiliser’ means a two-phase fertiliser in which solid particles are maintained in suspension in the liquid phase.


‘Declaration’ means a statement of the amount of nutrients, including their forms and solubility, guaranteed within specified tolerances.


‘Declared content’ means the content of an element, or its oxide, which, in accordance with Community legislation, is given on a label of an EC fertiliser or on the relevant accompanying document.


‘Tolerance’ means the permitted deviation of the measured value of a nutrient content from its declared value.


‘European Standard’ means CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) standards, which have been officially recognised by the Community and whose reference has been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.


‘Package’ means a sealable receptacle used to hold, protect, handle, and distribute fertilisers and holding not more than 1 000 kg.


‘Bulk’ means a fertiliser not packaged as prescribed by this Regulation.


‘Placing on the market’ means the supply of fertiliser, whether in return for payment or free of charge, or storage for the purpose of supply. Importation of a fertiliser into the customs territory of the European Community shall be deemed to constitute placing on the market.


‘Manufacturer’ means the natural or legal person responsible for placing a fertiliser on the market; in particular a producer, an importer, a packager working for its own account, or any person changing the characteristics of a fertiliser, shall be deemed to be a manufacturer. However, a distributor who does not change the characteristics of the fertiliser shall not be deemed to be a manufacturer.


Placing on the market

Article 3

EC Fertiliser

A fertiliser belonging to a type of fertilisers listed in Annex I and complying with the conditions laid down in this Regulation, may be designated ‘EC fertiliser’.

The designation ‘EC fertiliser’ shall not be used for a fertiliser which does not comply with this Regulation.

Article 4

Establishment within the Community

The manufacturer shall be established within the Community and shall be responsible for the conformity of the ‘EC fertiliser’ with the provisions of this Regulation.

Article 5

Free circulation

Without prejudice to Article 15 and other Community legislation, Member States shall not, on grounds of composition, identification, labelling or packaging, and other provisions contained in this Regulation, prohibit, restrict or hinder the placing on the market of fertilisers marked ‘EC fertiliser’ which comply with the provisions of this Regulation.
Fertilisers that are marked ‘EC fertiliser’ in accordance with this Regulation shall circulate freely within the Community.

Article 6

Compulsory statements


In order to satisfy the requirements of Article 9, Member States may prescribe that the indication of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contents of fertilisers placed on their market is to be expressed in the following way:


nitrogen solely in the elemental form (N); and either


phosphorus and potassium solely in the elemental form (P, K); or


phosphorus and potassium solely in the oxide form (P2O5, K2O); or


phosphorus and potassium in both elemental and oxide forms simultaneously.

Where the option is chosen to prescribe that the phosphorus and potassium contents be expressed in the form of elements, all references in the Annexes to the oxide form shall be read as being in elemental form and the numerical values shall be converted using the following factors:


phosphorus (P) = phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) × 0,436;


potassium (K) = potassium oxide (K2O) × 0,830.


Member States may prescribe that the calcium, magnesium, sodium and sulphur contents of secondary nutrient fertilisers and, where the conditions of Article 17 are fulfilled, of primary nutrient fertilisers placed on their markets are to be expressed:


in the oxide form (CaO, MgO, Na2O, SO3); or


in the elemental form (Ca, Mg, Na, S); or


in both of these forms.

To convert the calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, sodium oxide and sulphur trioxide contents into calcium, magnesium, sodium and sulphur contents, the following factors shall be used:


calcium (Ca) = calcium oxide (CaO) × 0,715;


magnesium (Mg) = magnesium oxide (MgO) × 0,603;


sodium (Na) = sodium oxide (Na2O) × 0,742;


sulphur (S) = sulphur trioxide (SO3) × 0,400.

For the calculated oxide or elemental content, the figure declared shall be rounded to the nearest decimal place.

Member States shall not...

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