Sustainable use of pesticides

Sustainable use of pesticides

Directive 2009/128/EC aims to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides in the EU by reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and promoting the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and of alternative approaches or techniques, such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides. Many of the actions taken by Member States under the Directive are also relevant to the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy, which includes the adoption of pesticide reduction targets. EU countries have drawn up National Action Plans to implement the range of actions set out in the Directive.

The main actions relate to training of users, advisors and distributors of pesticides, inspection of pesticide application equipment, the prohibition of aerial spraying, limitation of pesticide use in sensitive areas, and information and awareness raising about pesticide risks.

EU countries must also promote Integrated Pest Management, for which, general principles are laid down in Annex III to the Directive.

The Commission has commenced an evaluation of the sustainable use of pesticides directive and an impact assessment of its possible future revision. This work will be carried out in line with the Commission's guidance on Better Regulation.

The main purpose of this web-portal is to provide:

  • key information on the sustainable use of pesticides and

  • links to relevant information contained on official websites in the Member States.

There is a search function to help find the links you are looking for.

Reports from the Commission

Second Report from the Commission (May 2020) to the European Parliament and the Council on the experience gained by Member States on the implementation of national targets established in their National Action Plans and on progress in the implementation of Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides.

First Report from the Commission (October 2017) to the European Parliament and the Council on Member State National Action Plans and on progress in the implementation of Directive 2009/128/EC on the sustainable use of pesticides.


Harmonised Risk Indicators

Harmonised Risk Indicators established under Directive 2009/128/EC show the evolution in the risks to human health and the environment from pesticide use.

The European Commission is obliged to calculate and publish the Harmonised Risk Indicators for the European Union, while each Member State is obliged to calculate and publish the Harmonised Risk Indicators for their territory. Member States must also identify trends in the use of certain active substances, and identify priority items or good practices.

There are currently two Harmonised Risk Indicators. The Commission plans to extend the number of Harmonised Risk Indicators in the future.

Click here for more information on Harmonised Risk Indicators.


Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

overview of IPM, definitions and key principles

Click here for an overview of IPM, definitions and key principles.


Search Member States' Information

This search tool gives access to Member State websites on the sustainable use of pesticides.

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