Review of EU Fertilisers Regulation: Animal By-Products issues

The European Commission is considering options for changes to the EU Fertilisers Regulation.  Currently, it is most likely that a legislative proposal for revision of this regulation will be included in their new Circular Economy Package which is expected by the end of 2015.  If a leglislative proposal on EU fertilisers is requested, it will be considered under a co-decision procedure involving the European Council (of EU Member States) and the European Parliament.) 

The REA continues to monitor developments, consider potential impacts on UK compost and digestate producers and make its views known to the relevant desk officer at the Commission and to officials in Defra (who represent UK Member State interests at meetings of the Commission’s Fertilisers Working Group).

Why this could be problematic for UK compost and digestate producers

REA’s most recent concern is that, for making an EU fertiliser product, the treatment process for producing composts and digestates made from Animal By-Products will be restricted to the Standard Transformation Parameters laid down in the EU ABP Implementing Regulation (No. 142/2011).  These parameters are: minimum 70 oC for minimum of 1 hour and particle size not exceeding 12 mm.  (Read more about this by clicking HERE.)

We are working on assessing the impact and would particularly like to hear from any digestate or compost producer who is treating ABPs according to different parameters and currently achieving UK EoW criteria or intending to achieve UK EoW criteria in the future.  

We invite producer members to fill in and return the Excel document which appears when you click HERE.  Please send it to as soon as possible.

Potential response

The REA plans to call for additional acceptance of the ‘Alternative Transformation Parameters’ that EU ABP Implementing Regulation allows.  Under this option, the producer’s choice of transformation parameters is evaluated by the competent authority.  Validation evidence must demonstrate adequate reduction of pathogens and show that concentrations of Salmonella and E. coli (or Enterococcaceae if E. coli are not tested) are sufficiently low in the ABP-treated material.  These ‘low concentration’ criteria in the EU ABP Implementing Regulation are also applicable to material which has been treated according to the Standard Transformation Parameters.  This regulation allows ABP derived composts and digestates produced according to the Standard or the Alternative Transformation Parameters to be placed on the EU market.   

Please contact Emily Nichols (, 07771 556231) if you want to discuss the issues.

Article published: 05/03/2015.  Last updated 06/05/2015.
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