ItalyItaly is one of the European countries that have a specific legislative framework for biostimulants, which are called “corroboranti” in Italian.
“Corroboranti”, hereafter called “biostimulants” are substances applied as fertilisers of natural origin Indeed, article 2 of Presidential Decree n°290 of 23 April 2001* defines biostimulants as follows:
“Biostimulants are substances applied as fertilisers of natural origin, recognised to be invigorating substances, substances enhancing plant defence and of natural origin. They are not considered fertilisers but:
- Improve the resistance of a plant against harmful organisms
- Protect plants from damage other than the one caused by pests.”The Italian legislation specifies the function of biostimulants by drawing a clear line between what a biostimulant is - and what it is not. They are not considered plant protection products, however, they are seen as having a useful action to achieve these properties, while biostimulants have no direct effect on pests. They differ from Plant Protection Products because they only act on the vigour of the plant without having a direct effect against pests and they differ from fertilisers because they do not have a nutritional function.
Ministerial Decree n°18354 in 2009 listed 10 types of biostimulant products that could be placed on the market without prior authorisation. In 2013, this list was supplemented by four other product types.
In 2018, Ministerial Decree n° 6793 repealed Decree n° 18534 of November 2009 and provided new labelling obligations and other provisions, for instance as regards to mixing, using co-formulants, experimental trials and data protection. Annex 2 of that Decree n°6793 lists the (now 14) types of biostimulants products that can be placed on the market without prior authorisation.
Label requirements are also provide by Ministerial Decree n°6793 and it foresees that “fancy” names leading to misunderstanding what the product is about are forbidden. Rather, the name has to clearly recall the function of the product.*Decreto Presidente Repubblica n°290 del 23/04/2001 Regolamento di semplificazione dei procedimenti di autorizzazione alla produzione, alla immissione in commercio e alla vendita di prodotti fitosanitari e relativi coadiuvanti (n. 46, allegato 1, legge n. 59/1997)