Trade Alerts

EPA Compliance Advisory Alert for Pesticide Devices

By In USA Trade Alerts On 23rd March 2023

This Advisory Applies to U.S. Importers of Pesticide Devices.

Example Devices:  Water and Air Filters, UV Light Systems, Ozone Generators, Sound Generators.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found a substantial increase in non-compliant pesticide devices in the U.S. market.  

As a result, the EPA has issued a Compliance Advisory for Pesticide Devices, providing important information about producing, distributing, or selling pesticide devices. 

The EPA regulates pesticide devices according to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  

What You Need to Know About Producing, Distributing or Selling Pesticide Devices 

EPA does not register devices or require a pre-market review of devices and device labels. However, EPA may review device labels and labeling during compliance monitoring of domestic, imported or exported device products, or as part of voluntary, fee-based, regulatory determination submission.  

Devices are subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, and the failure to comply with applicable requirements may constitute an unlawful act. Failure to comply with FIFRA may result in a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hold or denial at a port of entry, the issuance of a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO), seizure, and/or the assessment of civil and/or criminal penalties. 

Examples of non-compliance include unregistered pesticides claiming to be devices, devices bearing false and misleading statements, and devices being sold and distributed that were not produced in an EPA registered establishment. EPA has also been receiving a high volume of inquiries from the regulated community and our co-regulators seeking information on how devices are regulated.  

Is My Product a Device or a Pesticide?  

A device is an instrument or contrivance that is intended to destroy, repel, trap, or mitigate any pest, including but not limited to rodents, molds, viruses, and bacteria, FIFRA Section 2(h). EPA has interpreted devices as working through physical or mechanical means (such as electricity, light, or physical force).  

Examples of devices may include water or air filters, ultraviolet light systems, ozone generators, and sound generators. If a device incorporates a substance or mixture of substances to perform its intended pesticidal purpose, then it is considered a pesticide, not a device, and would require registration under FIFRA Section 3. 

What are the FIFRA Requirements Applicable to Devices?  

Any person who distributes or sells any device in the U.S. is expected to know and comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements that include, but are not limited to, the following requirements, found at 40 C.F.R. § 152.500:  

  • Labeling - FIFRA Section 2(q)(1) and 40 C.F.R. Part 156; 
  • Establishment Registration and Reporting - FIFRA Section 7 and 40 C.F.R. Part 167; 
  • Books and Records - FIFRA Section 8 and 40 C.F.R. Part 169; 
  • Establishments - FIFRA Section 9; 
  • Violations, Enforcement and Penalties - FIFRA Sections 12, 13, and 14; 
  • Imports and Exports - FIFRA Section 17; 
  • Child-resistant packaging - FIFRA Section 25(c)(3); and 
  • EPA’s authority to declare devices subject to certain provisions of FIFRA - FIFRA Section 25(c)(4).

Import Requirements 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations implement and outline requirements for submitting a completed Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (NOA) to CBP for FIFRA-regulated pesticide and devices (see Section 17(c) of FIFRA and 19 C.F.R. §§ 12.110 - 12.117). 

Importers must submit a separate NOA for each unique FIFRA-regulated pesticide and device in each shipment.  

EPA coordinates regularly with CBP to identify and refuse entry to violative pesticides and devices at ports of entry.  

If you are uncertain about whether your product is a device, you may submit a request for a Device Determination from EPA. Instructions for submitting a request can be found at: devices#obtain 

More information can be found in the EPA advisory. 

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