Adjuvant Certification Program

The CPDA voluntary Adjuvant Certification Program is the first of its kind.  Since its launch in 2001, it has quickly gained industry recognition as an innovative tool for encouraging product stewardship in the manufacture of agricultural adjuvants.  Prior to this program, end users had little, if any, scientifically accepted standards by which they could effectively judge the quality of a tank-mix adjuvant.  Members of the CPDA Adjuvants and Inerts Committee developed the program to bring a level of consistency in product performance for adjuvants used with agricultural pesticide formulations.  Products certified under the program must meet 17 separate benchmarks that are based on technologically and scientifically derived definitions and standards adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials, now known as ASTM International, and certain requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Agricultural spray adjuvants are not subject to federal regulation by EPA.  To learn more about the CPDA program, please follow these links:

The definition of a tank mix adjuvant, as developed and approved by ASTM, is “a material added to a tank mix to aid or modify the action of an agrichemical, or the physical characteristics of the mixture.”  Adjuvants provide important benefits to applicators by improving pesticide spreading, wetting, canopy and leaf penetration, and adhesion.  Adjuvants can reduce pesticide drift, reduce foaming problems in spray tank mixtures, provide acidification to reduce alkaline hydrolysis and reduce unintended exposures and potentially adverse environmental effects.

When users purchase a CPDA certified adjuvant product, they have the assurance that the product meets the functionality claims indicated on the label according to a specified, uniform set of standards, and that ingredients used in the product meet EPA regulations for approved ingredients for use in pesticide tank mixes. The ASTM International standards E 1519-06ae1 and E 609-05 (available for purchase on the ASTM website) provide the structure for ensuring an adjuvant product is of high quality and reliability.  Pesticide registrants and users will have the assurance that the product will meet its performance claims and that all product labeling guidelines have been followed.

Any company that manufactures or imports an adjuvant may apply for certification, regardless of whether or not the company is a member of CPDA.  An applicant seeking certification of its adjuvant product submits to CPDA a completed online Application.  CPDA’s industry-led expert Certification Committee then reviews the application to ensure the product meets the specifications set forth in each of seventeen standards.  In conducting its review of the application package, the CPDA Certification Committee may recommend slight changes to conclude the approval process.

Upon compliance with the self-certification procedures and implementation of any minor changes recommended by the CPDA Certification Committee, adjuvant manufacturers will be notified of the Committee’s decision.  To complete the certification process and procure authorization to use the registered certification trademark (Certification Mark), the applicant must submit all required documents to CPDA, including a final product label and Certificate of Compliance, a processing fee payment of $400 per certified product, and a signed copy of the License Agreement if not previously on record.  For a sub-licensed product, the applicant must submit a final product label, a $100 processing fee per product, and a signed Schedule D.  CPDA will then notify the manufacturer that the product has successfully met all requirements for certification and is licensed to display a Certification Mark on the product’s label and promotional materials.  The entire review process will generally take 90 days from submission of the application to completion of review and notice of product certification.

The License Agreement is effective for a period of 3 years, after which the applicant must renew the product certification to continue use of the Certification Mark for another 3-year period.  The renewal must occur before the current 3-year period ends in order to maintain continuous authorization to use the Certification Mark.  A product must be recertified if a chemical or compositional change of the product impacts one or more of the voluntary standards, or if new information or manufacturing changes impact the toxicity profile of the product.

What are the certification fees?

The following fees are for administrative & processing charges upon approval of each of the applicant’s product(s), and is subject to a yearly maintenance fee.

  • First time application approval for each product – $400
  • Application for sublicensing of each product – $100
  • Yearly maintenance fee for each product – $100*
  • Yearly maintenance fee for each sublicensed product – $50*
  • Three-year(3) certification renewal fee for each standard product – $250
  • Three-year(3) certification renewal fee for each complex product – $400 (more detailed review)

*Please note: CPDA reserves the right to adjust the maintenance fees to reflect program cost increases. 

An applicant for certification will have had to conduct a minimum of acute dermal toxicity, oral toxicity and eye irritation studies on its product.  If any ingredient on the SDS is identified as a “hazardous chemical” under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, then inhalation and skin irritation and/or skin corrosion studies are required.  If a product label includes a recommendation for use in aquatic applications, then an aquatic toxicity study is required.

In 2006, EPA authorized under PR Notice 98-10 the use of a specific statement that registrants may use to recommend the use of CPDA certified adjuvants on pesticide labels.  In 2012, CPDA changed its name, and EPA confirmed that registrants using the 2006 approved recommendation statement could revise the statement on their labels solely to incorporate the new CPDA name without formal notification to the Agency.  Accordingly, the current EPA-approved recommendation statement is:

“When an adjuvant is to be used with this product, [name of the registrant of the pesticide] recommends the use of a Council of Producers & Distributors of Agrotechnology certified adjuvant.”

EPA approval of this standardized label language provides greater consistency in pesticide labeling for adjuvant use.  This language allows for clear identification of products that have been self-certified under CPDA’s program.

No.  An applicant for certification will not be required to submit any information deemed Confidential Business Information (CBI) or proprietary.  The applicant will only need to submit the product label, an SDS, and a 1-2 page summary of required toxicity studies.

The following list of products have been reviewed and approved by the CPDA Adjuvant Certification Committee:

To apply for product certification under the program and access to all forms and supporting documentation associated with the CPDA Certification Program