Information Note Regarding the Use of Drones when Applying Pesticides

The purpose of this information note is to communicate to pesticide users and other stakeholders the requirement for drones or unmanned aerial vehicles to be specified on the pest control product label if this method of aerial application is to be used.

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are considered aircrafts by Transport Canada. Transport Canada licenses operators for aircraft operation only (including drones), not for other uses while operating the aircraft. Operators are responsible for meeting other applicable regulatory requirements established by other Government of Canada departments.

Drones used for the purpose of applying pesticides represent a new method of aerial application for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Current references, in PMRA's Directive on aerial application of pesticides refer to the use of fixed-wing or rotary aircraft and are intended to apply to manned vehicles only (not drones or unmanned aircraft).

Under the Pest Control Products Regulations, directions for the use of each pest control product, including any limitations on its use and procedures to reduce risks associated with that use, must be included on the label.

To date, no label amendment applications for the use of drones for pesticide application have been submitted for approval in Canada. Since the PMRA has not received any data or applications to support the use of drones for pesticide application, the PMRA has not yet characterized the hazards/risks associated with the use of drones to apply pesticides.

Parties interested in using this new method of application need to work with registrants who must submit label amendment applications to PMRA, along with sufficient data to characterize the hazards/risks associated with this use.

Until this information is received, assessed and drones are included on a pesticide label, the use of drones to apply pesticides is not permitted under the Pest Control Products Act.

The PMRA offers a free pre-submission consultation service that provides regulatory guidance to registrants prior to the submission of an application. For additional information on submitting an application to add the use of drones for pesticide application a pre-submission consultation may be requested by contacting the PMRA at HC.pmra.presubs-prealables.arla.SC@canada.ca.

If you have any further questions, visit Canada.ca/pesticides or contact the PMRA's Pest Management Information Service.

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