Rules governing application

The use of pesticides in agricultural settings can result in water, air and soil contamination, as well as risks to the health of the person applying them and the public. Always comply with requirements governing the storage, preparation and application of pesticides.

The Applying commercial pesticides page sets out the general rules for pesticide preparation and application.

Ground application of pesticides in a field

If you are a farmer or farm employee, you must hold a Farmer’s Certificate for the Application of Pesticides (Subclass E1 or E2) or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.
If your company is applying pesticides for an agricultural producer, make sure you are licensed for cultivated land application (Subclass C8). If you are applying pesticides as an employee, you must hold a CD8 certificate or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.

As of January 1, 2025, a permit or certificate of this kind will be required to plant pesticide-coated seeds of certain crops.

The following is mandatory:

As part of a structured intervention program, certain plant species that threaten health or biodiversity can be controlled by applying pesticides along the boundary of a lake, watercourse or wetland. Be sure to inform the appropriate regional office of the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs and the municipality or regional county municipality (RCM) concerned at least 21 days before starting the work by using the Notice prior to the application of pesticides to control a plant species along the boundary of a lake, watercourse or wetland (PDF 1.02 Mb) (French).

Aerial application of pesticides in a field

If your company (agricultural or other) applies pesticides using an aircraft (for example, an airplane or helicopter), make sure your company is licensed for aerial application (Subclass C1 or D1).

If you are applying pesticides from an aircraft as an agricultural producer or company employee, make sure you hold a Subclass CD1 certificate or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.

The following is mandatory:

  • Identify the limits of the areas to be treated with markers or a flight line guidance system prior to applying any pesticides.
  • Comply with the distance from sensitive elements (PDF 376 Kb) requirements, including those related to the grounds of daycare centres and schools.
  • Comply with the conditions set out in the agronomic justification obtained prior to applying pesticides containing atrazine or one of the three targeted neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid or thiamethoxam).

The pilot or person supervising spraying must have a map or aerial photograph at hand that clearly identifies permitted and prohibited application areas and covers 300 metres around the application zone.

Applying pesticides by drone is not currently approved in agricultural settings.

As a permit holder, be sure to maintain and keep a current register of your pesticide purchases and use. Depending on your permit, you can use this template (XLSX 80 Kb) (French) (Class C permit) or this one (XLSX 51 Kb) (French) (Class D permit).

Greenhouse application

If you are a farmer or farm employee and are applying pesticides to protect your greenhouse crops, you must hold a Farmer’s Certificate for Application in Buildings for Horticultural Purposes (Subclass E3) or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.

If your company offers a flat rate service to apply pesticides for horticultural purpose inside buildings, namely for vegetable and herb production, you must ensure that it holds a Permit for Application in Buildings for Horticultural Purposes (Subclass C10 or D10).

If you are applying pesticides in buildings for horticultural purposes as an employee of this type of company, make sure you hold a CD10 Subclass certificate or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.

As a permit holder, be sure to maintain and keep a current register of your pesticide purchases and uses. Depending on your permit, you can use this template (XLSX 80 Kb) (French) (Class C permit) or this one (XLSX 51 Kb) (French) (Class D permit).

The Commercial pesticide application page sets out the general rules for preparing and applying pesticides.

Application of a pesticide by fumigation

If you are a farmer or a farm employee, you must hold a Certificate for Application by Fumigation (Subclass E5) in order to apply methyl bromide, carbon dioxide, sulfuryl fluoride, ethylene oxide or phosphine, or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.

If your company offers a flat rate service for these types of pesticides, for example in a grain elevator, it must be licensed for fumigation purposes (Subclass C6 or D6).

If you are applying these pesticides by fumigation as a company employee, you must hold a CD6 Subclass certificate or work under the supervision of a certificate holder.
Before fumigating in a confined area, make sure that:

  • Nobody, other than the person applying the pesticides, is present at the application site or exposed to the pesticides;
  • All livestock and pets have been evacuated and are not exposed to the pesticides;
  • All openings are sealed;
  • All entrances are sealed, and a sign prohibiting access (PDF 195 Kb) (French) is posted.

As a permit holder, be sure to maintain and keep a current register of your pesticide purchases and uses. Depending on your permit, you can use this template (XLSX 80 Kb) (French) (Class C permit) or this one (XLSX 51 Kb) (French) (Class D permit).

General notice

Possession de pesticides

As of July 6, 2024, it will be prohibited for the holder of a permit or certificate to possess a pesticide unless he holds a permit or certificate that allows its use.

For safe ways to dispose of these products, visit the Pesticide Waste page.

Last update: March 26, 2024

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