Agricultural Chemical User Permit (ACUP)
The Agricultural Chemical User Permit (ACUP) system was introduced in August 1996 to restrict the use of high-risk chemicals to people who were appropriately trained in safe chemical use.
An ACUP is a 10-year permit that authorises the holder to purchase ‘restricted supply’ chemicals and use 'restricted use' chemicals for private use.
Who needs an ACUP?
In Victoria, an ACUP is required to use agricultural chemical products that:
- are ‘restricted use’ chemicals (agricultural chemical products that are Schedule 7 Poisons (DANGEROUS POISONS) or contain atrazine, metham sodium or ester formulations of MCPA, 2,4-D, 2,4-DB or triclopyr)
- contain 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate)
- contain methyl bromide; or phosphine formulated as liquefied gas
- contain pindone concentrate (greater than 2.5%) for the preparation of poison baits.
- contain copper, chromium and arsenic (CCA)
Individuals using any of the chemicals above must hold a valid ACUP or be under the direct supervision of an ACUP holder (i.e. within sight and sound).
To determine if a product contains any of these chemicals please read the chemical's label and accompanying information sheet or search the APVMA PUBCRIS database.
An ACUP is also required to purchase agricultural chemical products classified as 'restricted supply' chemicals by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), including 1080 pest animal bait products, endosulfan, mevinphos, and CCA products.
Types of ACUPs available
There are five ACUP endorsements available to adult applicants:
Standard – authorises the use of agricultural chemical products that are Schedule 7 poisons (DANGEROUS POISONS), or contain atrazine, metham sodium and the ester formulations of 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, MCPA and triclopyr.
1080 (Sodium Fluoroacetate) – authorises the supply and use of agricultural chemical products that contain 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) pest animal bait products.
Fumigants – authorises purchase and use of agricultural chemical products that contain gaseous methyl bromide; or phosphine formulated as liquefied gas.
Pindone Concentrate – authorises the supply and use of agricultural chemical products that contain pindone concentrate for the preparation of poison baits (>2.5% pindone).
Copper Chromium Arsenic (CCA) - authorises the supply and use of timber treatment CCA chemicals by employees of a business that only treats timber that it owns.
Different combinations of the above mentioned endorsements are available except for CCA, which is issued as a separate permit.
There are conditional ACUPs available for applicants aged under 18 years that authorise the use of agricultural chemical products that contain atrazine, metham sodium and the ester formulations of 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, MCPA and triclopyr, and also pindone concentrate for the preparation of poison baits. It is illegal for a person under 18 to possess or use a Schedule 7 poison (DANGEROUS POISON).
How to apply
There are two steps to applying for an ACUP for the first time.
1. Complete the appropriate training course
First time applicants must complete an accredited course in agricultural chemical use before applying for an ACUP. Different training is required to use different chemical products.
- 'Restricted use' chemicals: To obtain a Standard ACUP (to use and purchase 'restricted use' chemicals), you must successfully complete a recognised training course in AgVet Chemical Use (or equivalent) that contains the unit AHCCHM303A – Prepare and apply chemicals, and either units AHCCHM201A – Apply chemicals under supervision or AHCCHM304A - Transport, handle and store chemicals (formerly RTC3704A, RTC2706A & RTC3705A ) from the Agriculture Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management training package (e.g. AusChem Victoria or DPI AgTrain Agvet Chemical User Course).
- 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate): To obtain a 1080 endorsement for an ACUP, you must have successfully completed the VIC21835 Course Minimizing the Risks in the Use of 1080 Pest Animal Bait Products in Victoria and a complete a recognised training course in AgVet Chemical Use or equivalent. Visit DPI 1080 for more information.
- Fumigants: To obtain a Fumigants ACUP (to use products containing methyl bromide; or phosphine formulated as liquefied gas), you must successfully complete the Conduct Fumigation unit PRMPM11B from the Asset Maintenance training package
- Pindone concentrate: To obtain a Pindone concentrate ACUP (to use pindone concentrate for the preparation of poison baits), you must successfully complete an appropriate training course in vermin control or pest animal management that contains the units AHCVPT306A, AHCFAU201A, AHCPMG402A and AHCVPT302A (formerly RTD2101A, RTD2126A, RTD4403A and RTE3406A).
- Copper Chromium Arsenic: To obtain a CCA ACUP, a person must successfully complete the training competency unit FPISAW3201B (Treat timber) or the previous equivalent (FPISAW3201A).
To find out what organisations offer these training courses and where they are run, contact TAFE colleges, VCAH colleges, AgTrain, AusChem Victoria, private providers or industry organisations.
2. Apply for an ACUP with DPI by completing the ACUP application form, form #74
Please ensure that a copy of your course certificate or statement of results is included with your application.
The ACUP application fee as at 1 July 2012 is $47.60 and the permit is valid for 10 years.
The processing time for ACUP applications is 3-4 weeks. Applicants should allow sufficient time between lodging the application and intended usage of a chemical product containing any of the abovementioned chemicals.
An ACUP is not required by people:
- who have, or are working under a Commercial Operator Licence or Pilot Chemical Rating Licence issued by DPI
- who have a Pest Control Licence issued by the Department of Health
- who have completed an appropriate course in agricultural chemical use and operate under a recognised quality assurance program that requires chemicals to be used in accordance with label directions and is independently audited at regular intervals of less than two years.
- ACUP holders must make specified records within 48 hours of using an agricultural chemical product and keep them for two years. Note this excludes the use of household or home garden products.
- ‘Restricted use’ chemicals must be used in strict accordance with the label. Off-label use of these chemicals is illegal in Victoria unless the user holds a valid Section 25A Permit issued by DPI.
- While DPI does not require the mandatory completion of refresher training in order to renew an ACUP, DPI does encourage chemical users to keep up-to-date with changes in technology, current practices and regulations.