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EU court rules against Spain on data protection

The European Court of Justice has agreed with a claim by the European Commission that Spain has infringed EU rules on data protection for agrochemicals. The Commission referred Spain to the Court in 2009 after it failed to amend national rules dating from November 2002 ( Agrow No 571, p 13). The EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414) protects data submitted by the first applicant for five to ten years. However, the Spanish legislation allows national authorities to grant subsequent approvals by using protected studies without the agreement of the first applicant. Spain argued that the aim was to maintain competition in the market and avoid companies gaining a dominant position. The Court has ordered Spain to pay costs.

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