The importance of always using registered products


By Jaelle Bajada, Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta ANZ

What are the chances? That is often the question we ask ourselves when considering an option that involves a level of risk. Should I swim in the ocean late at night and on my own? Should I drive the long distance without a break to get to a location on time or leave the night before? Hazards and the risk level we are willing to live with is something we are having to consider a lot more during this time of a global pandemic. We all take risks – some are more dangerous than others. The risky use of chemicals such as pest control products, falls into a high-risk category that requires careful consideration from the very first question – where do I buy my products from?

In Australia, the government regulatory body, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), assesses the hazards and the risks before determining the measures required to protect users, and allowing for the registration of the pest control products on the Australian market. This registration process ensures that if the product label is followed, there is no harm to humans, animals and the environment. Unfortunately, not every professional pest product sold in Australia is assessed and registered for use in Australia and this is one of the risks of purchasing products online.

Syngenta’s Head of Professional Solutions, David Van Ryswyk, said that the risk of purchasing an unregistered pest control product online or from overseas is high. “While it may be tempting to find products online that are either quite cheap or available in different pack sizes, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.”

“We are aware of many situations where the products sold online or from overseas are shown not to contain the required amount of active ingredient to make the product effective or contain contaminants that make it unsafe for humans, pets, or the environment. Too many operators have received call backs to do the job again because the products purchased online just didn’t work,” said David.

Syngenta produces professional pest solutions for the Australian and New Zealand market including ADVION® Ant Gel and ADVION® Cockroach Gel. Syngenta products sold through Garrards, a reputable distributor, have all been through the APVMA’s registration process.

“Registered chemicals used in pest control have passed a rigorous testing program that ensures the products are fit for their intended use,” said David. “All our products go through many tests to ensure safety and importantly, efficacy testing, to provide confidence that our products do what they claim to do.”

“Because of the amount of scientific evidence and data we put into the registration process, we provide a warranty for all our products. Customers that purchase through Garrards know that as long as the product label is followed, they are covered by the product warranty should they need it,” said David.

Unfortunately, pest control products sold online often look like genuine, registered products and it can be difficult to tell whether you are making a high-risk choice. Luckily, there are things you can look for to help you make the right decision.

Syngenta’s Technical Service Lead, Peter Ambrose-Pearce, advised that there are certain label elements operators can look out for when purchasing a professional pest solution product.

“Before buying or using a pesticide or fumigant, the first thing to always check is if it is registered with the APVMA and displays the APVMA or NRA registration number on the label. If there is not an APVMA or NRA registration number on the label, the product is not registered, illegal for use in Australia, and can be dangerous to operators or their customers.”

“Beware of buying from unfamiliar suppliers and always check with online and overseas sellers to ensure their products are APVMA registered before you buy them. You can search the PubCRIS database on the APVMA website ( by chemical type (e.g. pesticide, larvicide etc.) to view all registered products in a particular category. But the best way to ensure you are purchasing registered products to buy from reputable suppliers such as Garrards.”

Managing risk in life and in business is something we all do, often subconsciously. Something to consider when deciding where to buy your products from and assessing the risk is what that decision could mean for the industry.

“We all want to succeed as individual businesses, there’s no doubt about that,” said David. “But to ensure our industry succeeds in the long run and maintains the trust that customers have in professional pest solution providers, we all need to make decisions that ensure our industry is here for the long-term.”

“By purchasing from reputable suppliers and using products registered for use in Australia, we all benefit from being part of an industry that our customers trust and value.”

If you have any questions or concerns about the products you are using or want to have a chat about what we can all do to contribute to a strong and successful industry, contact Peter Ambrose-Pearce or reach out to your local Garrards branch. 

ED 21-411