December deadline for final sale of creosote products


Retailers will have until December 31, 2022 to sell all their containers of agricultural creosote products.

Creosote is a wood preservative first registered as a biocide in 2011. It is used to treat utility poles, railway sleepers, agricultural and equestrian fences and poles used in vineyards.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Navy (DAFM), confirmed today (Friday 18 November) that a regulation renewing the approval of the biocide for the vacuum and pressure impregnation of wood used for railway sleepers and telecommunications poles only has been agreed at EU level, details which Agriland had revealed last month.

Authorizations for products containing creosote will be amended to prohibit the sale and use of these products to treat agricultural/equine fences.

The following grace period will apply in Ireland:

  • December 31, 2022 – final retail sale of containers of creosote-based products;
  • February 28, 2023 – expiry date for the use of creosote-based products by professional users for the treatment of fences;
  • April 30, 2023 – deadline for marketing and selling wood treated with creosote, with the exception of railway sleepers and telecommunication poles.

By December 31, 2022, stores, traders and importers must ensure that all stocks of these types of products are sold to professional end users or returned to their supplier.

As of April 30, 2023, it will be prohibited to place on the market and sell agricultural/equine fencing treated with creosote.

Stocks of creosote-treated wood not sold by this date may be subject to destruction as hazardous waste or re-export outside the EU.

The DAFM specification for fences will be updated to reflect the changed status of the wood preservative.

All wooden fence posts purchased for subsidized fencing must be treated and certified in accordance with regulations. The application of this regulation is the responsibility of the DAFM.


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