Maximum residue level, MRL

Changed on: 06.05.2016

Maximum residue level, MRL

Maximum residue levels are set in such a way that they are acceptable based on risk assessment (toxicology, residue behaviour). It is the aim of the assessment as part of licensing to apply a safe distance between the maximum permitted level and the concentration at which there is a possible risk to health. Therefore, exceeding a maximum level generally does not lead to a risk to consumers.

The calculated maximum level can only be accepted into the Regulation on Maximum Residue Levels for Pesticides (SchäHöV) and into the relevant directives and regulations of the European Union if a risk to the health of consumers can be ruled out. Up until Sept. 1, 2008 different maximum residue levels were valid within Europe. The harmonisation process for maximum residue values has already been concluded and with immediate effect as of September 1, 2008 via entry into force of Annexes II, III and IV of No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin became effective across the whole of Europe and thus also in Austria. Thus maximum residue levels are identical across the whole of the European economic region (EU). This means that possible barriers to trade for agricultural products have been removed and consumer protection has been set at a uniform, (high) level. Any possible adjustment of Austrian national values which is made on the grounds of careful scientific risk assessment at European level under consideration of national positions and all eating habits is therefore sensible and by no means constitutes endangerment of food safety.

More detailed information in this regard can be found here:

Residue behaviour of pesticides