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Plan protection products: prohibited products

06 January 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 07 January 2010

The European Union regulates the placing on the market and use of plant protection products and lists the prohibited active substances.



Council Directive 79/117/EEC of 21 December 1978 prohibiting the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances.


The purpose of this Directive is to prohibit the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances.

This Directive, and its subsequent amendments, include an annexed list of the active substances that may be neither placed on the market nor used. However, temporary derogations may be granted at national level for specific uses.

Active substances are included in the Annex if their use gives rise, or is likely to give rise, to harmful effects on human or animal health or to unacceptable adverse effects on the environment.

Where an unforeseeable danger threatens plant production and cannot be contained by other means, the Member State in question may permit the placing on the market and the use of the product for a maximum period of 120 days.

The Directive does not apply to plant protection products to be used for research or analysis, or exported to a third country.

Key terms used in the act

Plant protection products: active substances and preparations containing one or more active substances which do one or more of the following:

a) protect plants or plant products against all harmful organisms or prevent the action of such organisms;

b) influence the life processes of plants, other than as a nutrient (e.g. plant growth regulators);

c) preserve plant products, in so far as such substances or products are not subject to special provisions on preservatives;

d) destroy undesirable plants or

e) destroy parts of plants, check or prevent undesired growth of plants.

Active substances: substances or micro-organisms including viruses having general or specific action against harmful organisms or on plants, parts of plants or plant products.


Directive 79/117/EEC
Entry into force: 22.12.1978
Deadline for transposition in the Member States: 1.1.1981
Official Journal: OJ L 33 of 08.02.1979

Amending acts:
Act of Accession of Greece
Entry into force: 1.1.1981
Official Journal: OJ L 291 of 19.11.1979

Directive 86/214/EEC
Entry into force: 4.6.1986
Official Journal: OJ L 152 of 6.6.1986

Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden
Entry into force: 1.1.1995
Official Journal: OJ C 241 of 29.8.1994

Regulation (EC) No 807/2003
Entry into force: 5.6.2003
Official Journal: OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003


Annex - List of prohibited active substances and derogations

Directive 83/131/EEC [Official Journal L 91 of 9.4.1983];
Directive 85/298/EEC [Official Journal L 154 of 13.6.1985];
Directive 86/355/EEC [Official Journal L 212 of 2.8.1986];
Directive 87/181/EEC [Official Journal L 71 of 14.3.1987];
Directive 87/477/EEC [Official Journal L 273 of 26.9.1987];
Directive 89/365/EEC [Official Journal L 159 of 10.6.1989];
Directive 90/335/EEC [Official Journal L 162 of 28.6.1990];
Directive 90/533/EEC [Official Journal L 296 of 27.10.1990];
Directive 91/188/EEC [Official Journal L 92 of 13.4.1991];
Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 [Official Journal L 158 of 30.4.2004].