Research Authorizations and Experimental Use Permits
California requires all pesticides used in California to be registered by DPR prior to sale or use. Before federal or state regulators register a pesticide, they must have data on how it behaves under field conditions, including product efficacy, environmental fate, and potential worker exposure. In addition, DPR requires these data to be collected under California-like conditions. Because companies must conduct field studies to collect these data, federal and state law allows companies to apply for limited, experimental uses of pesticides through either a Research Authorization or Experimental Use Permit (EUP).
Research Authorization (RA)
A Research Authorization (RA) is a short-term permit that allows researchers to collect field data regarding the use of a product under California conditions. An RA typically allows a small amount of acreage to be used for the collection of field data. It is most commonly obtained to collect data on currently registered pesticides to test effectiveness on different commodities. DPR’s RA process does not replace the separate, independent evaluation and registration process required prior to pesticide sale or use in California. Any pesticide must be submitted to DPR for registration prior to sale or use in California, which includes a rigorous evaluation by DPR for efficacy, phytotoxicity, and potential harm to human health or the environment.
Once received, any research authorization request is rigorously reviewed by DPR to assess any potential hazards to handlers, field workers, public health, or the environment. During its review process, DPR also assesses whether the requested research is necessary and appropriate for data development and collection. Based on the results from this evaluation, DPR may deny or approve a RA or require additional conditions or restrictions under which the research must be conducted. DPR communicates the results of its evaluation to the public.
Additionally, for all RAs, a copy of the approved authorization and a notice of application that includes information about the location and property owners of the areas to be treated, the application methods, and a map, must be submitted to the local County Agricultural Commissioner. Applications can only be made under the conditions of the approved RA, including limited or restricted acres for treatment, length of time the research can be conducted, etc. These restrictions are based on DPR’s evaluation of the RA prior to approval.
If the product is submitted to DPR for registration, DPR scientists conduct an additional round of review and evaluation, including reviewing the results of research conducted under the RA.
RA Helpful Resources
- Guide to Understanding Research Authorizations, PDF
- Research Authorization Application DPR-REG-027a, PDF (Est. 4/15). Instructions on back of form.
- Research Authorization Application (Additional Pesticides) DPR-REG-027b, PDF (Est. 4/15)
- Experimental Pesticide Use Report DPR-REG-028a, PDF (Est. 4/15)
- Experimental Pesticide Use Report (Continued) DPR-REG-028b, PDF (Est. 4/15)
- Experimental Trial Report DPR-REG-029, PDF (Rev. 4/15)
Application Information and Requirements
To apply for a Research Authorization, complete the appropriate form(s) and submit to DPR by e-mail at RAs@cdpr.ca.gov or by postal mail at:
Research Authorization Coordinator
Department of Pesticide Regulation
Pesticide Evalution Branch
P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812
Note: Any Research Authorization application that does not include the active ingredient of the product due to status as trade secret information shall be accompanied by a signed request for exemption from disclosure. The request may be submitted separately from the RA application if done so in a timely manner. Failure to do so may result in the application being denied.
Researchers must additionally provide the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) with a copy of the approved research authorization and a notice of the intended pesticide application at least 72 hours prior to applying a pesticide requiring a research authorization, unless the CAC determines that a shorter time period is adequate to evaluate the intended pesticide application. The notice of intended application must also include the location of each trial on a plot map and a map or aerial photograph designating the location and identity of sensitive sites that could be adversely impacted by the pesticide application.
The notice of intended application provided to the CAC must also be submitted to DPR at the same time it is provided to the CAC. The notice may be submitted by e-mail to RA_NOI@cdpr.ca.gov.
Experimental Use Permit (EUP)
An Experimental Use Permit (EUP) can be issued by DPR to allow for research and experimental use of a pesticide in California. The EUP must first be approved by U.S. EPA and is reviewed and evaluated by DPR scientists for hazards to handlers and field workers, public health, and the environment. A EUP allows for researchers to collect the necessary data to initiate a registration for a product in California. EUPs provide opportunities for public participation through the 30-day public comment period on the proposed decision published in DPR’s Notice of Decision.
EUP Helpful Resources
For content questions, e-mail RAs@cdpr.ca.gov or contact:
Lan-Xin Shi, Ph.D.
Phone: (916) 445-4419
VOIP: (916) 898-0129
Shengjun Lu, Ph.D.
Phone: (916) 324-3530
VOIP: (916) 898-0126