Hydroponic Product Sellers and agvet chemicals

Selling plant growth regulators or other hydroponic chemicals in Australia

Hydroponic chemicals that commonly fit the definition of an agricultural chemical product include:

  • plant growth regulators (PGRs) or products that contain plant growth regulating chemicals, such products can also be described as nutrients, growth boosters, vitamins, hormones and bloom enhancers
  • fungicides and mould control products
  • insecticides
  • algaecides and water weed control products
  • water treatments
  • insect repellents
  • disinfectants
  • sanitisers.

These types of products generally require registration with the APVMA as agricultural chemical products. You can find out if a product is likely to require registration by using a simple online tool.

Plant growth regulating chemicals

If a product contains plant growth regulating chemical(s) it is likely to require registration with the APVMA before it can be legally held or supplied in Australia. APVMA Permits can also authorise possession and supply in certain circumstances.

Some examples of plant growth regulating chemicals are:

  • paclobutrazol
  • daminozide
  • gibberellic acid
  • indole acetic acid (IAA)
  • naphthalene acetic acid (NAA)
  • putrescine
  • brassinolide
  • benzyladenine
  • auxins
  • cytokinins
  • chlormequat chloride.

A number of registered agricultural chemical products contain these chemicals as active constituents.

What about natural products?

‘Natural’ (including complementary, alternative and herbal) agricultural chemical products often fall under the definition of an agricultural chemical product and must also be registered prior to being offered for sale.

How do I know if a product is registered?

The APVMA maintains current details about agricultural and veterinary chemical products registered for use in Australia and permits that have been issued. You can search the APVMA PUBCRIS and Permits databases:

To see if a product is registered, you need to check the label on the product. Labels on registered products carry an APVMA (or NRA) approval number. This number is typically found at the base of the front or rear label panel on the main container, and follows the words 'APVMA Approval No'.

If a product label does not have an APVMA or NRA approval number the product may not be registered. You should ask your supplier why the APVMA or NRA approval number is missing. If you remain concerned you can contact the APVMA and ask for assistance.

What action can the APVMA take?

Under national agricultural and veterinary chemicals legislation it is illegal to advertise or supply unregistered agricultural chemical products. Breaches of agvet legislation may result in fines and other enforcement action including civil and criminal prosecution. Penalties for supplying agricultural chemical products that are not registered carry fines of up to $51,000 for an individual or $255,000 for a company.

The APVMA routinely reviews retail sites including on-line sales and APVMA Inspectors may inspect retail premises with your consent. Entry to premises may also occur under a monitoring or investigation warrant if APVMA Inspectors have formed the view that supply may have contravened the law. Persons found to be supplying or selling unregistered agricultural chemical products may be subject to enforcement action. Enforcement actions can include; formal warning, penalty infringement notices (ie fines), notices to produce and enforceable directions.

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