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EU takes Spain to court over data protection

The European Commission has referred Spain to the European Court of Justice over its "incorrect" application of EU rules on data protection for agrochemicals, following the country's failure to amend national rules. The EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414) protects data submitted by the first applicant for five to ten years. During this time, other applicants for the same active ingredient either need to produce their own data or reach an agreement with data owners to use their studies. However, the Spanish legislation is incompatible with EU rules as it allows national authorities to grant subsequent approvals by using protected studies without the agreement of the first applicant, the Commission charges. If the Court agrees, Spain may be fined.

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