Mr Kriss Debono -
Principal Agricultural Officer

+356 22924338
 Mr Philip Camilleri
Scientific Officer

+356 22924303

8007 4441

Nitrates Action Unit


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.

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

Table 1:


Identify vulnerable zones


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


Monitor waters and to apply reference methods of measurement for nitrogen compounds to ensure that measures are effective


Establish a (Nitrates ) Committee to assist the Commission on  matters relating to the implementation of this Directive


Establish a code or codes of good agricultural practice, to be implemented by farmers on a voluntary basis


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.


Draw up and implement suitable monitoring programmes to assess the effectiveness of action programmes.

In compliance with Article 12 of the Directive, Malta has brought into force L.N 321 of 2011 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


EU Directive

Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC​

Directorate's Role:

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

In this regard the Directorate is responsible to conduct the necessary administrative checks, collection of data, and verification of records and on-the-spot checks on the holding to ensure compliance with these regulations. In this manner the Directorate is responsible to maintain a National Nitrates Database containing the following information:

  • a) registered farmers making use of fertilisers;
  • b) information concerning the holdings pertaining to the farmers;
  • c) information concerning livestock buildings and storage facilities on a holding, including a link with the National Livestock Database;
  • d) information concerning land management practices;
  • e) information concerning the landscape including the presence of any karstic features and natural topography, soil types, water sources and water courses;
  • f) information concerning the sale and movement of livestock manure;
  • g) data concerning the sales and purchases of inorganic fertilisers;
  • h) information on checks conducted by other authorities;
  • i) findings of monitoring and controls;
  • j) list of Advisors and technical experts;
  • k) list of manure transporters.

General Information:

Fertilizer Traceability:

Access to farmer registry:

Useful Information:

 Infonitrates - After LIFE (LIFE+)