While Ireland had a testing system in place by the 26 November 2016 deadline (only Cyrpus and Malta did not), the European Commission found that “there was a wide variation in the level of compliance reported”.

“In the case of nine member states, the level of testing was below 50% (Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain and Sweden),” the report reads. “For the remaining 15 member states, compliance level was higher than 50% and in some cases, approaching 100%.”

Auditors visiting Germany, Poland and the Netherlands found that more than 90% of sprayers were tested.

Italy was found to have one third of its sprayers tested, which is closer to the latest compliance rates reported by Ireland. However Italy is one of the only countries including knapsack sprayers into the obligation.

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