Amendments in Fertilizer Control Order in India, from Feb.’ 2019 onward

Twelve numbers are amendments are included in Fertilizer Control Order in India, from Feb.’ 2019 onward.

  1. Inclusion of New Product in FCO in Schedule-1 of FCO
  2. Inclusion of New Product in FCO in Schedule-IV of FCO
  3. 8 Nos. Liquid Fertilizers inclusion in FCO
  4. Provision of Third Analysis
  5. Reduction in Time Limit for Sample Testing
  6. Reprocessing of Fertilizer Damaged during Storage
  7. Relaxation in Tolerance limit of Particle Size
  8. Relaxation in Tolerance limit of Particle Size
  9. Up-gradation of SFTLs
  10. Amendments in 100 % Water Soluble Fertilizers
  11. Bio-stimulants in FCO
  12. Nano Fertilizer

Inclusion of New Product in FCO

Earlier requirement of 2-year field trials for agronomic evaluation has been reduced to 1-season multi-location trials.

New Fertilizers included in Schedule-1 of FCO

  • Straight Potassium Fertilizers – Di-hydrate poly halite; Potassium Magnesium Sulphate (granular)
  • Micro nutrient Fertilizers – Magnesium hydroxide and Zinc phosphate.
  • Fortified Fertilizer – NPK 9:24:24 fortified with Mg, S, Zn, B; Boronated NP 28-28-0-0.2; NPK 8:21:21 fortified with Mg, S, Zn, B; DAP fortified with 4% S.
  • 100% Water Soluble Complex Fertilizer – 24-24-0; Potassium nitrate (prilled) (13-0-45) (soil application)
  • Beneficial Element Fertilizer – Diatomite silicon; Sodium silicate (liquid)

New Fertilizers included in Schedule-IV of FCO

  • Fermented Organic Manure (Solid)
  • Fermented Organic Manure (Liquid)

Liquid Fertilizers (8) – New category included in FCO

  • NPK 8:8:8 (for sugarcane crop)
  • Calcium di-hydrogen phosphate
  • Chelated zinc as zinc-glycine
  • Chelated calcium as calcium-glycine
  • Chelated boron as boron-glycine
  • NK 6:0:18 fortified with calcium, magnesium and boron (suspension)
  • NPK 11:11:8 fortified with zinc and boron (suspension)
  • Calcium nitrate fortified with magnesium (suspension)
  • Calcium Amino acid Chelate (liquid); Zinc Amino acid Chelate (liquid); Boron Amino acid Chelate (liquid) Fertilizers have been permitted provisionally for import to India for a period of 2 years.

Provision of Third Analysis

  • In case a sample is declared as non-standard both in first analysis report and referee analysis report but in different parameters or there is wide variation in analysis report of first analysis and referee analysis, the aggrieved person may appeal to the controller or appellate authority, as the case may be, for third analysis within 30 days from the date of receipt of the report of referee analysis on payment of charges for analysis.
  • The Controller or Appellate authority shall on receipt of an appeal decide and send the third sample for analysis to any of the National Test House Laboratories at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ghaziabad or Jaipur.
  • The result of the third analysis shall supersede the report of first analysis and referee analysis and shall be treated as final.

Reduction in Time Limit for Sample Testing

  • The time limit for testing is reduced from 2 to 1 month
  • Dispatch of sample (within 3 days from date of drawl of sample),
  • Analysis in laboratory (within 15 days from date of receipt of sample) and
  • Communication of results to dealers (within 7 days from date of receipt of analysis report from lab.)
  • This time limit is applicable only for FIRST testing and not for Referee and Third analysis
  • Issue still to be addressed: Referee and third analysis should also be a time bound exercise.

Reprocessing of Fertilizer Damaged during Storage

  • Government has allowed manufactures and importers for reprocessing of fertilizer damaged during storage with following conditions:
  • Container of such damaged material shall be superscribed in red color with word ‘damaged’ and also with Sign ‘X’.
  • Damaged fertilizer shall be moved from godown within one week from the date of grant of certificate of reprocessing.

Relaxation in Tolerance limit of Particle Size

The tolerance limit of particle size has been increased from 3% to 7% (vide S.O. 3885 (E) dated 29th October, 2020)

Up-gradation of SFTLs

  • Earlier, majority of State Fertilizer Testing Labs do not have required technical manpower and equipment for testing samples.
  • Now amended as:
  • It has been made mandatory for every fertilizer testing lab, specified or notified by the State Government to obtain accreditation of National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration of labs within a period of two years from 28th September, 2020
  • Every fertilizer analyst shall undergo training at every three years in CFQC&TI, Faridabad or RFQCL at Mumbai, Kalyani or Chennai.

Amendments in 100 % Water Soluble Fertilizers

  • General specifications of W S mixture of fertilizers gave freedom to manufacture or import any grade of W S mixture of fertilizers following general specifications
  • Now, Every manufacturer or importer is required to provide the details of raw material used in making 100% W S mixture of fertilizers
  • Weight of sample of WSFs to be collected for testing was reduced to 100 gms from 400 gms earlier.

Bio-stimulants have been brought in FCO as a separate Schedule VI vide S.O.882 (E) dated 23rd February, 2021

Classification of Bio-stimulants

  • Botanical extracts including sea weed extracts
  • Bio-chemicals
  • Protein hydrolysates and amino acids
  • Vitamins
  • Cell free microbial products
  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-transpirants
  • Humic and fulvic acid and their derivatives

Nano Fertilizer

Under Schedule VII, clause 20 D of FCO, specifications were notified in respect of nano urea (liquid) fertilizer to be manufactured by IFFCO for period of 3 years vide S.O.885 (E) dated 24th  February, 2021.


  • Procedural delay in sample analysis of imported fertilizers at ports.
  • Despite simplification, the process of inclusion of new product in FCO is still Lengthy and cumbersome.
  • No legal binding on retailers to sell fertilizer through POS device. It should be legal binding on retailers.
  • Fertilizer inspector has power to serve stop sale notice of 21 days, merely on the basis of Reason to Believe. It should be reduced to 7 days.
  • FCO needs to focus more on evolving efficient & transparent fertilizer quality control mechanisms.
  • It is time to move away from product approval approach. The system of ‘Label Based Product Quality control“, as prevalent in many countries, should be evaluated for introducing in Indian context. The concept of notifying limits /broad guidelines for various parameters for new fertilizers may be introduced.