Agrochemicals for crop protection and pest management have been a core part of Steptoe’s Environment & Life Sciences practice for more than 25 years.  As in all of the areas covered by our Environment & Life Sciences practice we have built an integrated team of lawyers, scientists, and technical consultants to guide clients through the complex, politically charged, and ever-changing regulatory landscape.  We advise clients doing business in the European Union and the United States, providing an integrated multijurisdictional service.  Steptoe is counsel to companies supporting some of the most high profile agrochemical products on the market (and the complementary genetically modified seed, food and feed that many of them market.  We also advise regional and international trade associations operating in the agribusiness sector. 

Through longstanding work in this area, Steptoe has built a reputation for constructive dialogue with legislators, policy makers, regulators, and enforcement authorities, including regulatory advocacy before the European Commission, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, and EU national competent authorities.  This advocacy helps clients to shape their business environment and achieve their commercial objectives.

The detail of the regimes we work in, including Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009 on plant protection products, FIFRA and FFDCA, differs in each jurisdiction. However, there are key themes on which clients regularly turn to us for strategic guidance and support.  We cover the complete lifecycle of agrochemicals regulation including:

Regulatory Requirements

  • Pre-market authorization and re-authorization of actives and formulated products
  • Data valuation, sharing and compensation negotiations and arbitrations (for mandatory and voluntary data sharing)
  • Export and import requirements (including the Prior Informed Consent requirements under the Rotterdam Convention)
  • Data requirements, regulatory negotiation, and risk assessment
  • Representation within task forces and consortia
  • Labeling and marketing requirements
  • Maximum residue limits tolerances

Commercial Issues

  • Task force and consortia establishment, management, and antitrust compliance
  • Letters of access
  • Supply agreements
  • Antitrust  & Competition  compliance issues
  • Commercial due diligence for acquisitions and divestitures

Compliance, Enforcement & Litigation

  • Regulatory challenges
  • Environmental liabilities
  • Enforcement defense
  • Compliance audits and non-compliance response strategies
  • Strategic advocacy
  • International trade issues