UK Farmers To Need ID For Ammonium Nitrate Fertiliser Purchase

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News in brief: New regulations in the UK will require farmers to provide photo identification when purchasing ammonium nitrate fertilisers from October 1, 2023, to prevent misuse of the potentially explosive substance. However, there are concerns from agricultural groups about potential disruptions and challenges in the verification process for urgent fertiliser purchases.

New regulations in the United Kingdom (UK) would require farmers to provide photo identification to purchase certain ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilisers later in the year, according to a news report.

The regulation will take effect from the October 1 2023 as part of the Control of Poisons and Explosives Precursors Regulations 2023, which introduced new substances to its list of regulated explosives, precursors and poisons.

Ammonium nitrate with above 16% nitrogen is now part of regulated substances and aims to prevent wrong and malicious usage.

While it is a useful fertiliser, ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive and has been used in a number of terrorist attacks. For example, it was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 2011 Oslo bombing.

Under the new regulation, businesses and professional will need to verify their legitimacy to their supplier with photo ID, name and address. They will also provide a statement of their business or profession or function, and their VAT registration number. Photo ID will include a passport, driving license, trade identification card, and business ID card.

Suppliers are requested to record and retain this information for 18 months and provide them for inspection purposes upon request. In addition, they are required to assess the intended use with each purchase to determine if it is reasonably consistent with the stated trade, business or profession.

The Agricultural Industries Confederation has, however, warned that this may cause issues for farmers and growers because some often place orders over the phone. It says it will work with farming unions to ensure that all farmers in the region understand this new legislation better. Furthermore, it will ensure that farmers are well prepared for the changes the regulations bring.

In the same vein, the National Famers Union (NFU) has admonished farmers to plan ahead of October 1, stressing that they need to be aware of the new regulation. However, the union too expressed concerns that the regulations may disrupt a grower’s ability to purchase important crops nutrients. It cites times of urgency as an example, getting fertilisers on farm and applying it within the appropriate time may be difficult due to the verification processes.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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