Call for information on the neonicotinoids thiacloprid and acetamiprid

We sought your input on the use of substances containing the neonicotinoids thiacloprid and acetamiprid in New Zealand.

Responses to the call for information

The public submission period for providing feedback on our second call for information closed on 12 July 2020. We received 8 responses.

Background to this call for information

On 27 January 2020 we announced our intention to reassess the five neonicotinoid insecticides currently used in New Zealand. They are imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and acetamiprid.

Our reassessment is planned to run at the same time as the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) review of neonicotinoids and we will look at opportunities to work together on some technical aspects of the reassessment.

A reassessment is a formal review of the rules controlling a substance that is already in use in New Zealand.

Read more about the reassessment process

Grounds determination in 2019

In December 2019, a decision-making committee of the EPA determined that there were grounds to reassess the neonicotinoids, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and acetamiprid. Establishing grounds is the first step towards a reassessment under the HSNO Act.

Read the grounds for the reassessment of neonicotinoids documents

2018 first call for information on three of five neonicotinoids

In August 2018, we asked for information on three of the five neonicotinoids being reassessed, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. This earlier call for information followed the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishing updated risk assessments on these neonicotinoids in 2018 and was open until the end of that year.

Read our summary of the responses received

Read the European Food Safety Authority risk assessments - European Commission website

Information we sought in the second call for information

We sought information on the other two neonicotinoids thiacloprid and acetamiprid, and their use in New Zealand. The purpose of this call for information was to offer interested parties, including industry, users, researchers and the general public, an opportunity to provide data on products containing these substances.

The information we received will be used to prepare our reassessment application, inform our risk and benefits assessments, and help us make an initial proposal on how these substances should be managed in the future.

We wanted information on the types of thiacloprid- and acetamiprid-containing substances that are currently being used in New Zealand, the ways in which the substances are being used, the prevalence of those uses, their positive or adverse effects, and specific mitigation measures that are being used to protect our environment.

We also welcomed any new information on clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam (that’s become available since 30 December 2018, and was not submitted in the earlier call for information in August 2018).

When the reassessment application is formally received, you will have an opportunity to make a formal submission on the reassessment application and proposal.

Substances containing thiacloprid and acetamiprid

Neonicotinoids have been available for use in New Zealand for more than 20 years. We set rules around the use of these substances, which include particular rules to mitigate risks to pollinators, such as restrictions on use on flowering crops or near hives.

In order to fully understand the potential risks associated with neonicotinoids in a New Zealand context, and to inform our proposed reassessment application, we need to ensure that we have the most up-to-date and accurate information about their use here.

There are a variety of substances containing thiacloprid which may be used in the agricultural and horticultural sector as foliar sprays or home garden insecticides. Some of these substances are registered with the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) group at the Ministry of Primary Industries. Substances containing acetamiprid have EPA approvals as home garden insecticides and timber treatments.

Substances of interest include the following:

Thiacloprid-containing substances

Acetamiprid-containing substances                          

Substance name (and ACVM trade name/registration number [where applicable])

Approval number

Substance name

Approval number

Suspension concentrate containing 480 g/litre thiacloprid

  • Hortcare COMMEND [P008684]
  • Alpasso [P008063]
  • Topstar [P007814]
  • Calypso [P005664]






Defender Maxguard RTU


Proteus [P007529]


Defender Concentrate Maxguard


Preventol TX-CT 50


Crown 225SL Systemic Insecticide


Preventol TX-CE 12




Insect Systemic Ready to Use




Rose Systemic Ready to use




 Table: Substances of interest in this call for information

Information we sought

Manufacture and import volumes

Please supply any information on the quantities of thiacloprid and acetamiprid imported annually into New Zealand. Information may include data on the quantities of neonicotinoid-containing substances being formulated here or imported into the country, and the concentration of active ingredient in these substances. Annual sales data in New Zealand is also relevant.

Use and application information

We would like to know which types of thiacloprid- and acetamiprid-containing substances are currently being used in New Zealand as foliar sprays, timber treatments or home garden insecticides.

For substances used in agriculture and horticulture, we are seeking information on the use patterns for different crops (which may be provided in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) table format), the prevalence of use for each crop type, and whether this use corresponds with a particular product label or is an off-label use. We are also interested in knowing whether any products have been discontinued.

Environmental exposure mitigation measures

We are seeking information on any mitigation measures that are currently being used to limit environmental exposure for substances containing acetamiprid and thiacloprid. This includes industry practices that are additional to any label requirements. We would specifically like to know whether any measures are currently being used to minimise spray drift from foliar sprays.

Scientific and technical information

We would welcome any scientific or technical information (either published or unpublished reports) relating to acetamiprid and thiacloprid.

This may include study reports on the toxicology or ecotoxicology of substances containing these neonicotinoids, literature on the use of these substances in New Zealand, or environmental monitoring data on the presence of these substances in New Zealand.

Information about alternatives

We are interested in any information on the availability of alternatives for each of the identified uses, and the relative cost, effectiveness, and safety of those alternatives.