Before a pesticide is approved, the risk to non-target organisms must be assessed. This assessment is to ensure that there are no significant long-term changes to the population nor to the function of the ecosystem. Certain other effects may also be unacceptable such as vertebrate mortalities.

The information you provide must be sufficient to allow an assessment of the impact on non-target organisms likely to be at risk from exposure to the active substance and appropriate metabolites.

This guidance covers:

Ecotoxicology guidance

(items are also included on pages referring to specific organisms where appropriate)

Current Guidance Documents

Previous EU Guidance Documents

Information about specific groups of organisms

UK guidance for products

Formulation Studies in Ecotoxicology

For applications considered under Regulation 1107/2009 (as it applies in Great Britain and Northern Ireland) the formal requirements for Ecotoxicology formulation testing are laid out in Part A, Section 10, Annex to the Regulation 284/2013. UK specific formulation guidance is also available as outlined in the HSE formulation guidance. This HSE guidance provides advice on the need for ecotoxicology formulation studies and their use in risk assessment, along with how to consider the combined risk for relevant groups. Formal sections of the data requirements and existing guidance documents are presented together with additional guidance. Applicants are advised to read this document before deciding on a formulation testing strategy.

All product applications for products with multiple active substances should contain the appropriate aquatic and /or combined bird and mammal risk assessments. For the majority of applications HSE does not require new data - a reasoned case is sufficient. See guidance (.docx) - Microsoft Word document for further information.

Classification and labelling

Environmental Hazard Classification and Labelling under CLP Regulation

This is a brief guide to CLP environmental hazard classification and labelling for active substances and 'mixtures' (formulated products).

Environmental Safety Precautions and Risk Mitigation for Plant Protection Products in the UK

Advice regarding the wording on product labels of 'safety precautions' previously required under Annex V to Directive 91/414 and now required under Commission Regulation (EC) No 547/2011. It details the various risk mitigation measures that may be needed, including a more detailed consideration of UK product labelling and risk management strategies for terrestrial (crop dwelling) non-target arthropods.

Research reports

There is a list of research reports useful for ecotoxicology risk assessment.


Updated 2021-10-18