About Pesticides And Their Use

Pesticides are considered one of the principle tools of defence against pests and diseases  affecting the agricultural production.


To ensure that their use is based on sustainability principle, in 2009 the European Union introduced the so called “pesticide package” (to replace the Directive 91/414/EEC) which includes:


a) Regulation 2009/1107/EC concerning the placing of PPPs on the market;


b) Directive 2009/128/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides;


c) Directive 2009/127/EC dealing with machinery for pesticide application;


d) Regulation 1185/2009/EC setting out rules for collecting information on the annual amounts of pesticides placed on the market and the annual amounts of pesticides used in each Member State.



Especially in the Directive 2009/128/EC (so called SUD Directive), the core idea is that in order to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides, there is a need to address risks both for the human health and the environment associated with the use of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). That is why, in the SUD, training and raising awareness play a strategic role.


Thus, to achieve this goal, “Member States (MSs) shall ensure that all the professional users, distributors and advisors have access to appropriate training (…) both initial and additional to acquire and update knowledge as appropriate”(art. 5.1).


Furthermore, by 14 December 2013, every MSs shall establish certification systems providing evidence of sufficient knowledge (art. 5.2). Training should be focus on the subjects listed in Annex I (e.g. risks for human health and environment, appropriate mitigation measures, relevant legislation, notions on integrate pest management strategies and techniques,...) taking account of their different roles and responsibilities (art. 5.1).


Moreover, MSs should inform the general public and facilitate awareness-raising programmes and the availability of balanced information (Art. 7). Information should be related to pesticides and in particular regarding the risks and the potential acute and chronic effects for human health, non target organisms and the environment (Art. 7). MSs should also ensure that in case of aerial spraying when derogations from the ban are given, persons who could be exposed (such as residents and bystanders) are warned (Art. 9).


All the provisions included in the SUD (including training and awareness raising) had to be transposed/incorporated in the MSs national legislation by 14 December 2011 (art. 23.1).


In addition to transposing the legislation, each MSs should adopt a National Action Plan (NAP), to be communicated to the Commission and to other MSs by 14 December 2012, setting quantitative objectives, targets, measures (including training), timetable to reduce risk and impacts on pesticide on human health and on the environment (art. 4).


To have further information about the SUD please visit:



To have further information about the NAP adopted by the various MSs please visit: