Nitrates Action Programme

Nitrates Action Programme


Upon accession to the EU Malta, as all other Member States was obliged to ensure compliance with the Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC. This Directive lays down provisions that are specific to the protection of waters against pollution caused by Nitrates (organic- manure/slurry and inorganic fertilisers) from agricultural sources. 

In Malta the directive has been transposed into S.L 549.25 establishing the Environment and Resource Authority as The CA for the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the provisions required in the Directive. S.L 549.66 makes the Agriculture Directorate the Competent Authority for the implementation of the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations

The general provisions pertaining to the objective of this table are summarised in Table 1.

​1    ​Identify vulnerable zones
​2 ​Establish Action Programmes should include measures to limit the land-application of all nitrogen-containing fertilizers and in particular to set specific limits for the application of livestock manure
​3 ​Monitor waters and to apply reference methods of measurement for nitrogen compounds to ensure that measures are effective
​4 ​Establish a (Nitrates ) Committee to assist the Commission on  matters relating to the implementation of this Directive
​5 ​Establish a code or codes of good agricultural practice, to be implemented by farmers on a voluntary basis
​6 ​Set up where necessary a programme, including the provision of training and information for farmers, promoting the application of the code(s) of good agricultural practice.
​7 ​Draw up and implement suitable monitoring programmes to assess the effectiveness of action programmes.

Directorate's Role:

The Agriculture Directorate is the Competent Authority in ensuring the implementation of the Nitrates Action Programme  obligations Malta as Member State has with regards to the protection of groundwater from Nitrate Contamination specifically from agricultural sources

In compliance with Article 12 of the Directive, under the Environment Protection Act Malta has brought into force S.L 549.66 which provides for the administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive this was also complimented with a review of the Action Programme in 2011.

Legal Basis


S.L 549.66: Nitrates Action Programme Regulations

Nitrates Action Programme

Pjan Ta’Azzjoni dwar in-Nitrati

The Maltese Code of Good Agricultural Practice

E.U. Directive

Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC​

Lodging a report:

The Agriculture Directorate is responsible to follow up any reports of breaches pertinent to S.L 549.66.

For any reports you may wish to make :
 +356 22924563

Registering parcels in the Nitrates Registry:

To Register your parcels within the Nitrates Registry kindly contact Front Office: on 2292 6148 Or Customer Service 2180 4981

Record Keeping

Record keeping pertinent to the Nitrates Directive is established as provisions laid down in Regulation 12 of S.L. 549.66

To facilitate farmers to reach the objective in ensuring compliance to such obligations a standard policy is to be adopted for:

  • Controllers from the Nitrates Action Unit (Agriculture Directorate) and Control Unit (Paying Agency - Cross Compliance) in making checks to ensure farm management records are being properly maintained
  • Availability/accessibility for farmers to refer to templates (from website)

It is to be clear that there is no legal obligation that farmer/livestock breeder must by force use such templates, rather, these templates will be used as a guidance procedure. In complying with the requirement stipulating that; Farmers shall keep adequate and updated farm management records, and shall make them readily available for inspection to the Department upon request.

Farm management records shall include the following information, as applicable:

a) the farmer for the calendar year in question;

(To be indicated on every sheet submitted applicable both livestock and land based)

b) the total agricultural area including the size and location of each field;

(This is to be available on approved fertiliser plans through the calculation performed on the IT system)

c) the cropping regimes and their individual areas;

(This is to be available in the system through the issuing of approved fertiliser plans)

d) the number of livestock kept on the holding, their species and type and the length of time for which they were kept on the holding;

(Information to be made available from the herd book, important that this is kept up to date)

((Applicable only to livestock owners))

e) the capacity of livestock manure storage, and where applicable the details of rented storage, livestock manure production, manure separation, the details of any rental or contractual agreement;

  • certificate of warranted architect having details of the manure clamp and cesspit
  • Livestock manure production- farmer has indication of calculation as per annex V of NAP (annex II)​
  • Manure separation- any records of technical information pertaining to use of manure separation, eg. Electricity used vis-a-vis rate of separation per hour.

(Applicable only livestock)

f) the quantity of each type of fertiliser moved on or off the holding, the amount of each type of fertiliser applied, the nutrient content of the inorganic fertiliser, the location used;

g) the date of movement of farm manure, the name and address of the consignee, the consignor and any third party transporter of the manure.

Advisors & Technical Experts

​Regulation 18(j) of S.L 549.66 requires the Competent Authority to have a List of Advisors and technical experts.

These advisors and technical experts would be recognised by the Directorate as competent person to provide advice and technical input in the compilation of Fertiliser Plans that is to be carried out in line with Regulation 4 of S.L 549.66.

Any person interested to attain recognition from the Director to be included in the list of Advisors and Technical experts is to contact the relevant officials.

 List of Advisors and Technical Experts




Certificate No

Date of First Registration

Mr Jonathan Falzon



11th March 2016

​Mr. Henning Lyngsø FOGED ​+45 6141 5441​ ​TA9 ​30th November 2022
​Mr Kyle Spiter ​77428674 ​ ​TA10 ​22nd August 2023

Dr Daniel Sultana



3rd August 2018

Ms Sonya Sammut



27th August 2018

​Mr Thomas Galea 
​21804981/2/4 ​​ ​TA11 3rd November 2023

Registering as an importer, distributor or reseller of fertilizers

In line with Regulation 14(1) of S.L 549.66 all importers, distributors and resellers of fertilizers shall be registered with the department. All importers, distributors and resellers of fertilizers shall apply through the following link: 

Approved Training Courses - For the Use of Organic & Inorganic Fertilisers

In line with Regulation 13(2) if S.L 549.66 the Agriculture Directorate organises periodical courses on the use of fe​​rtilisers. Anyone interested in attending one of these course can apply here or or contact the Customer Care of the Agriculture Directorate 2180 4981.​

General Information:

For further information, contact:

Registering parcels in the Nitrates Registry:

To Register your parcels within the Nitrates Registry kindly contact Front Office: on 2292 6162.


  • Plant Nutrient Requirement Guidelines
  • ​​​​​Record Keeping Templates​​​​​​
Record sheet ġarr ta’ demel barra ir-razzet 
Record sheet għat-trasportaturi ta’ demel u slurry tal-bhejjem 
Record sheet għax-xiri u l-użu tad-demel u l-fertilizzant 
  • Waste Storage Capacity Calculation for Livestock Farms
Calculation of need for manure and slurry storage