Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Fertiliser standards and labelling

Fertiliser manufacturers must provide—on the label supplied with their product—information about the nutrient content and any impurities contained in that product. These requirements do not apply to composted and unprocessed animal manure, seed treatments, peat and potting mixtures and unprocessed waste, unless the seller represents these products as a fertiliser.

If your business sells fertilisers, you have a general biosecurity obligation under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the biosecurity risk. The Code of practice for the naming and describing of fertilisers and for the levels of contaminants in fertilisers in the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 states a way for meeting your general biosecurity obligation in relation to labelling fertilisers and the level of contaminants in fertilisers.

You must ensure the fertilisers:

  • are labelled in accordance with the code of practice
  • do not have impurities above the maximum levels.

Read the Code of practice for the naming and describing of fertilisers and for the levels of contaminants in fertilisers in the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 for full details on these obligations.

Labelling requirements

Fertiliser labels must contain:

  • a distinctive name
  • the name and principal place of business of the manufacturer
  • the name and principal place of business of the Australian distributor (in the case of imported products)
  • the name of each nutrient providing value to plant growth
  • the percentage of each nutrient
  • the description of the form in which the nutrient is present (e.g. 'N' as nitrate or 'Ca' as carbonate).

You must provide statements about the level of impurities for:

  • cadmium, molybdenum, selenium, lead or mercury concentrations above prescribed levels
  • fluorine in phosphatic fertilisers above 40g for each kilogram of phosphorous present
  • biuret in fertilisers containing urea.

You must provide any relevant warning statements on the label if the fertiliser contains the following materials at the specific trigger level:

  • biuret in urea
  • fluorine in phosphatic fertiliser
  • phosphorus acid
  • molybdenum in pasture fertilisers
  • selenium in pasture fertilisers
  • lead
  • cadmium
  • mercury.

Maximum permissible concentration of impurities in fertilisers

You must not exceed maximum levels set down for the following contaminants in fertilisers:

  • cadmium
  • fluorine
  • lead
  • mercury.

Also consider...